For as long as we’ve been playing college football, we have been trying to find a way to declare a “true national champion” in the sport. For years, voters decided who the champion was. Then we moved into the BCS era where computer formulas would try to determine which two teams should play for the crown. Now, we find ourselves in the College Football Playoff era, which is a step in the right direction, but the current system is broken.
Would you like to know the teams who have made College Football’s “Final Four” since the inception of the College Football Playoff back in 2015? Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Clemson, Michigan State, Washington, Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU. That’s 11 different teams to fill the 24 spots in the CFB Playoff since 2015. Eleven, that’s it. There are 130 FBS programs in college football and a committee selects who they believe are the best four teams in College Football to play for the National Championship. That makes zero sense. My biggest complaint with College Football has always been that there is no set criteria to make the playoff nor standardized scheduling in the sport to be able to compare results. It is absolute chaos.
CALL IT POWER-5 INVITATIONAL
Then we can enter the Conference Champion debate. Some teams that won their conference have gotten in, some teams have won and have been left out. The BIG 12 had to institute a conference championship game for that extra “data point” we heard so much about. I always joke that this is the College Football Playoff Power-5 Invitational, because only the Power-5 ever gets in. Even if a Group of 5 team wins their conference championship and goes undefeated, they get left out. UCF in 2017 was undefeated and opened the door to that conversation. This season Cincinnati out of the American Athletic Conference (9-0), Coastal Carolina from the Sun Belt (11-0), and San Jose State from the Mountain West (7-0) are all undefeated and won their conference championships.
The committee said on Sunday that “The top teams resumes were better than Cincinnati’s.” ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg tweeted on Sunday “(the) Playoff could be eight teams and the CFP would put Georgia in and Cincinnati would rank 9th.” So what exactly do the Group of 5 teams play for (leaving the economics out of this discussion)? How do we fix College Football? Some people believe that expanding the playoffs only devalues the regular season. How is that possible? It’s football, every game always matters because the length of the season is so short. Some people say that expanding the playoffs would be “too many games being played”. You have to play 16 games to win a high school state championship in Ohio and Texas. So how do we fix this?
THIS IS THE FIX
Here it is: “Anthony Bellino’s College Football Fix”
We expand the Playoff from 4 to 14 teams, just like the current NFL model.
The Top-2 teams are granted a bye through the 1st round.
All games until the National Championship are played at campus sites.
Every Power-5 and Group of 5 conference champion would be granted a berth into the College Football Playoff. Once those 10 seeds have been determined, the highest ranked remaining non-conference champions would fill in the 4 at-large berths.
Here’s a look at how this would play out this season.
CHECK THIS OUT
The idea behind this is that every conference champion is now important. Every conference champion now has a shot to play 60 minutes of football to advance in the quest for a national championship. Imagine what an on-campus game would mean for a MAC team like Toledo, if they got to host Florida in the opening round of the playoffs? There is a massive gap between College Football’s elite and the rest of country. Expanding the playoff may change recruiting and finances for other schools if the opportunity is actually there to compete for a title. Not to mention the additional TV revenue from these games and the exposure for the G5 schools that it would present as well. Playoffs never hurt the high school or professional level, it doesn’t hurt Division 2 or 3, why do some believe it would hurt the FBS? Let’s fix College Football and let’s start by opening the door for every D1 team to play for that chance at the College Football Playoffs.