Fixing College Football

Andy Campbell, Staff Writer

In 2018 college football fans saw two national champions. Alabama won the College Football Playoffs, University of Central Florida went undefeated and won their bowl game. This is the result of a flawed playoff system in college football.

The college football playoff system consists of four teams that are the top four ranked teams in the nation. These ranks come from a 13 member selection committee that votes every week with the last week being week 13 after conference championship games. The playoff system has been highly scrutinized since it has been introduced in the 2014-2015 season.

The major problem with this is that there are five major conferences in college football and with the four team playoff system one is bound to be left out. Many have looked to an expansion in a few different ways. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh stated, “More would be better in the playoffs, four right now, go to eight and eventually get to 16.” This is one way to do it but 8 teams should be the end of the expansion.

The problem with 16 teams is that 15 games would have to be played over four different weeks. This would be bad for the athletes because most are already playing a 14 game season and their bodies will be too tired and not be able to play at peak performance.

An eight team playoff is the way to go. This would include the five conference champions which would give a meaning to conference champions beyond the speculation of possibly making the playoffs. In addition there would be three teams that would be selected by the current committee to take the last three spots in the ranks.

This would give teams like University of Central Florida and Notre Dame a chance at making the playoff because UCF is not in a power five conference and Notre Dame is not in a conference. Last year’s playoff excluded UCF even though they were undefeated, under the new playoff system this would not happen.

This year UCF is currently ranked eighth and they are undefeated once again, as the ranks currently stand there is no feasible way for the knights to find their way into the playoffs. “It’s hard to look at last year’s college football season and not feel like an eight-team playoff isn’t where we should go.” Said Scott Frost, Nebraska head coach. “I think it should be five conference champions and three at-large teams. That would give a surprise conference champion that plays well at the end of the season a shot.” Frost has it right.

This new system would open up the playoffs to teams that have a few losses that have had a great second half of the season.

Another reason for an expansion is the untapped market for these games. The addition of these bowl games to the playoff would increase profits because these games have even more meaning than they currently do which would boost television viewers and ticket prices.

The expansion of the playoff is something countless college football fans have been craving. It would do wonders for all aspects of postseason college football. The current system leaves elite caliber teams out of the postseason, the new system would give these teams a chance to keep playing and not let committee members decide their fate.