By Matt Ferris
The NCAA has definitely taken some steps in the right direction and improved its College Football Playoff. And yet somehow, it still just isn’t quite right.
The current format allows four teams, picked by a committee, to battle it out in a single elimination format. But is four teams really enough to decide who is truly the country’s best.
The problem with just a four team playoff is too many teams get snubbed from playing in it. With five major conferences in the NCAA, one champion from a power five conference is automatically on the outside looking in.
And on top of that, many teams are written off by people early in the season because of one loss.
For example, Ohio State, ranked second in the preseason poll, lost to Oklahoma, ranked fifth in same poll, in Week 2. Many people and “experts” are already writing Ohio State off for the season because of one loss.
A fix to this problem is simple – expand the playoff to eight teams. This way all five conference winners can get an automatic bid, plus three at-large teams could also be given a shot.
The NCAA is against expansion for a couple of reasons.
Player safety is one of the biggest. Adding 4 more playoff teams, would force teams to play an extra game in their season. This could cause more injuries to players because they would have to put their body through another week of football activities.
Another concern for the NCAA, is the possibility of making college football a two-semester sport, just like basketball and hockey.
The fix for this is easy. Cut out one week in the regular season. Do we really need to see Alabama play teams like Mercer, like they will later this season? Or Clemson play Kent State, whom they beat 56-3. The answer is no. It’s simple – cut out the “cupcakes.” This kills two birds with one stone. It cuts out the extra game that players would have to play and keeps the season all within the parameters of the fall semester.
Don’t get me wrong, the NCAA has definitely made progress, now it’s time to take it a few more steps forward.