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The case for eight

January 14, 2016

Matthew Valcho 

VALCHO

VALCHO

Sports Editor | mvv002@latech.edu

 

Unfortunately, after months of insane finishes and upsets, the end of college football season is here. The Alabama Crimson Tide is the FBS national champion following the second edition of another successful College Football Playoffs. Unlike last season’s controversial Final Four selections, this year’s edition was much more clear-cut.

 

Clemson and Alabama demolished Oklahoma and Michigan State, respectively, in their semifinal matchups, which led to the two dominant finalists playing a classic game. Some people still try to create controversy by arguing that Ohio State deserved to be back in the playoffs despite losing to Michigan State and not even playing in their conference championship game. In hindsight, that debate may have deserved a bit more attention than many gave it.

 

Ohio State dominated a strong Notre Dame team in the Fiesta Bowl, and the future national champs blanked Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl to reach the championship game. So what could have happened if Ohio State made the playoffs? What about Stanford, Houston, or Ole Miss? I’m extremely happy with how the playoff has worked so far (except for the semifinals being on New Year’s Eve, which a totally different topic all together), but the case for an eight-team playoff has to come up eventually.

 

The pieces needed for an eight-team playoff are there. We have six bowl games that can host a semifinal on a rotational basis. So why can’t two of them move a week later? Four bowls acting as quarterfinals on New Year’s Eve/Day and two acting as semifinals a week or so later, with the National Championship a week after that.

 

The only thing that may hurt a case for this is tradition. It is very possible the Rose Bowl would have to leave its traditional spot in the afternoon on New Year’s Day, which could be a problem for some. Who would make the tournament? This could be decided in two ways. Either we stick with the method we have now, which lets the College Football Playoff Selection Committee decide, or develop a new system that rewards spots to the Power Five conference champions with two at large spots and a spot reserved for the highest ranked Non-Power 5 conference champion.

 

I know that things are way more complicated than I make them out to be due to money, TV and contracts, but imagine the potential for this. Not everyone likes discussing hypotheticals, but this vision is too mouth-wateringly great to ignore. Hopefully something like it becomes reality in my lifetime.

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