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NCAAF

College Football Tournament* Expansion

I still see people arguing against the expansion to 8 teams because it would "lessen" the regular season, and college football is "unique" because the regular season matters. SPOILER ALERT FOLKS: the regular season matters in every fucking sport. 

Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year.  We have late season NFL Football where teams are jockeying for postseason position and the shit teams are trying to play spoiler, and the College Football Bowl season has started where we get random match-ups and we watch teams we would never normally watch because Colgate & Buffalo are tied 50-50 in the Heinz Ketchup Plastic Surgery Bowl in Little Rock.

More importantly in College Football, we are less than two weeks from the two semifinal games in the College Football Tournament, where Oklahoma will take on Alabama and Notre Dame will try to play Clemson. Although this blog could have been written the day these match-ups were released, now seems like just as good of a day because of the recent news coming from the Big 10 and their commissioner, Jim Delany.

Yes, the Big 10 has come out and said they want the playoff expanded to 8 teams.  Why are they doing this?  Well for the second year in a row, Ohio State, the Big 10 champs have been left on the outside looking in.  Last year, they had two loses but this year, they only had one and in their two biggest games of the year against #4 Michigan and Northwestern, they looked dominate and good enough to be in the top 4.  However, Ohio State was left out and Oklahoma was put in because their one loss was to Texas and they got to avenge it.  If Ohio State got to play Purdue and avenge that loss, would they have gotten in?  We’ll never know.

Any who, I’ve already written my thoughts on this College Football Tournament but I wanted to revisit those thoughts because I still see people arguing against the expansion to 8 teams because it would “lessen” the regular season, and college football is “unique” because the regular season matters. SPOILER ALERT FOLKS: the regular season matters in every fucking sport.  You can’t just sucks balls all year long and make it into the postseason, unless of course you are undefeated 2013 Florida State in which case you cheated the system and did. They were not a top four team that year, don’t argue it.  Your blind cousin Darla from Ukraine could see that back then and she died in 2009. Just hop on twitter and you’ll find tons of people, like Peter here who are butt hurt about the regular season not mattering as much with an 8 team playoff.

So lets talk about everything wrong with the current system College Football has in place and how we can fix it, but first I want to say that all of these changes will take time no matter what or how they change.  We as fans have to accept that because of the amount of money this system makes, those in charge are going to be unwillingly to make drastic changes.

First, get rid of this damn name: College Football Playoff.  Its not a playoff, its a tournament.  Name another major sport where all postseason games are played on a neutral field/court and its called a playoff?  Can’t can you.  Good, you keep this neutral field bullshit where “#1 Alabama” somehow has an advantage over “#4 Oklahoma” because their closer to the bowl location?  Glad that Orange Bowl location really gives Alabama a major advantage! WOOHOO! Get rid of playoff name if you’re gonna keep playing these at neutral sites. Call it what it is, a four team tournament.

Secondly, yes the field needs to be expanded to 8 teams. The five P5 conference champs and three at large teams.

  • But but but they need to get rid of conference championship games then! Ahh.. no they don’t.  You can’t crown a conference champion with round robin because these conferences are so big, you need to have the top two teams play each-other in a conference championship game. Maybe the Big 12 gets rid of it but others don’t, that is up to them.  You keep the conference championship games but let the conferences decides how they determine those two teams.
  • But but but but the regular season is already too long and these kids still have classes to go to. So, take a game off the schedule. Start the season earlier.  Give them two byes during the year.  Don’t kid yourself, these kids from only 8 teams can manage playing through the playoffs and going to school. Every other division in college football does it, why not the D1 kids?  Oh and class, don’t kid yourself.
  • but but but not every conference champion is good enough to compete. This is the only sport where we bitch about a team making the post season and not being good enough to compete for a championship.  You think the Sacramento Kings are good enough to go to the NBA Finals? No.  Every year in baseball there is a team nobody believes in, just like the NFL, just like the NBA, just like the NCAAM Tournaments, just like every other fucking sport. WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO TREAT DIVISION 1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SO DAMN DIFFERENT.  Get over it, it happens in every sport and will happen in college football.  SPOILER ALERT: 4 out of the 5 years of the College Football Tournament, there has been a team in the top 4 that has no business being in there anyway. Its happened already, right in front of your eyes.
  • but DAD, not every at large team is good enough. Well son, read my point above.  Also, you really think Baylor, TCU, or Michigan St. in 2014 couldn’t have put up a better game against Oregon?  What about Ohio St. in 2015?  What about Michigan or Penn State in 2016? What about Georgia this year?  You really think those teams don’t have a shot or aren’t deserving to get a shot at winning a championship.  It’s a shame they don’t because all those teams were better than ones that got in instead of them. And hey guess what son, some years all the at large teams will lose, and maybe they’ll all get blown out but its sports and it happens.  There are years where the NFL playoffs aren’t all that interesting and its clear who the top two teams were.  It happens, live with it and move on.
  • BUT BUT what about the bowl games?  no more Rose or Sugar bowl?! Those are important traditions.  Well, I would say Oregon doesn’t give two shits they won they won the Rose Bowl in 2014 because they lost the national championship.  You think Georgia cares they won the Rose Bowl last year?  Probably not.  Yeah the school gets to say they won a Rose Bowl and, cool I guess.  Also, Ohio State won the Sugar Bowl and the National Championship.  I don’t think their player are bragging about being Sugar Bowl champs, they’re bragging about beating Alabama in a semifinal.  What to do with these bowl games is a tough decision that I’ll address later.
  • but but but but I don’t wanna see a team with 3, or 4 losses get in. glad you whined about that folks.  Now lets talk about some regulations and how this playoff would, and should look.

Regulations & Requirements

  1. Playoff field will consist of the five P5 conference champions & three at large teams.
    • Teams will be seeded from 1-8 based on their ranking.  The five conference champions will be the top 5 seeded teams, the three at large teams will follow.
    • Any independents, like ND, will be seeded in the order they are ranked.
  2. To be eligible for the playoff you must meet the following requirements
    • Be a Power 5 conference champion
    • Have two or less losses to be eligible to be an at- large team
  3. The Power 5 conferences will agree on each conference playing the same amount of conference games, whether that be 9 or 10 games.
  4. FCS opponents can be scheduled, but only in August, September, and October.
    • For all you SEC fans, maybe they’ll add in a second bye week in November just for you little nuggets.
  5. Every Power 5 team must play a true road game once every three years against another Power 5 opponent. 
    • This still allows for home and home to be scheduled along with the season opening neutral site games which I think are great.

Other Notes

  • Some people might ask, well what happens to the NY6 bowls? Well the Peach and the Cotton go back to being little bowl games but not “shitty” bowl games.  Also, right now nobody gives a shit about the Peach bowl kicking off at noon.  The other bowls, Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar is another discussion.
    • For one, I would say after each team loses in the the real 8 team CFP, they get slotted into one of these games.  Therefore, once you lose in the playoffs you would go to say the Rose bowl and the championship game would always be one of the other bowls on a rotating schedule.  However, do you rename the championship game the Orange Bowl National Championship because guys aren’t gong to say they won the Orange bowl, they’re going to say they won the National Championship.
    • You could also argue against this point that the teams who lose, don’t want to play in the Sugar Bowl after losing a semifinal game.  I am not going to argue with you on that.  We already get those kinds of games as it is.
    • The other option is to keep these four big bowls separate and still have your traditional match-ups.  Instead of it being the number one or two team in each conference, its gonna the be the number 3 or even 4 team.
    • How to deal with these bowls games will be a big debate, just like everything else, if these turn into actual playoff games.
  • How are these teams ranked?  Well right now that system if fucked because you have acting ADs on the committee, you have people with huge bias on the committee, and it shows in the rankings.  We have no fucking idea year to year what matters other than not losing.  What these requirements take away is some of those arguments.  For one, we know the conference champions are going take away some of that debate.  Secondly, not being able to have more than two losses is going to narrow down the eligible teams to a handful almost every year.  Having to play another P5 opponent, non-conference road games more consistently, and the same about of conference games should help drown out some of the criticisms of the selection process.
    • I would be fine with keeping the committee, but replacing them with people who are watching as much college football as they can, and have little bias.  Get all of these old white guys out of the room and put in the people who watch the sport.  Commentators and analysts from ESPN, FOX, CBS, guys who write about CFB constantly from ESPN, FOX, CBS, SI, Bleacher Report, etc.  These people know their shit and will undoubtedly rank the teams with less bias.
  • Get the top 25 out of here.  This year more than any showed just how, not good some of these top 25 teams are.  Are there going to be years when #19 is a really damn good team. Sure, but we don’t need to go that far, cut it off at 15 or even 12.  I know rankings, especially at the start of the year is all marketing but cut it off. No need to release and rank the top 25.  Release the top 15, and let the AP and Coaches polls figure out their own top 25 for TV.
  • Group of 5 teams.  You go undefeated, you don’t deserve a spot in the playoff.  However, going undefeated and scheduling tougher teams will help – obviously.
    • Undefeated Group of 5 team will automatically get one of the “big 4” bowl games, if you decide those bowl games will not be apart of the playoff.
  • I probably forgot something, but fuck it. Time to move on.

2018 College Football Playoff*

Let’s finish with looking at this year as an example.  We’ll take the course of the “Big 4” bowl games are separate from the playoff.  Meaning once you lose in the playoff, your season is over. We’ll use the CFT* top 25 rankings.

College Football Playoff

8 Seed: Michigan @ 1 Seed: Alabama

7 Seed: Georgia @ 2 Seed: Clemson

6 Seed: Washington @ 3 Seed: Notre Dame

5 Seed: Ohio State @ 4 Seed: Oklahoma

The Big Four Bowl Games

Rose Bowl: Penn State v. Washington St. (just let Mike Leach and James Franklin duke it out at midfield)

Orange Bowl: West Virginia v. Kentucky (cousin on cousin)

Sugar Bowl: Texas v. LSU (actually, a really good match-up)

Fiesta Bowl: UCF v. Florida (giving the people what they want, and what they deserve)

 

CFT 25

Finally, an 8 team playoff is inevitable and I hope it changes for the best. However, some of the requirements and regulations I mentioned can be fixed in this 4 team playoff next year. Fix whose picking these top four teams first, set some more regulations and maybe we’ll be proven wrong that we don’t need an eight team playoff. Like, share, comment on this post.  Godspeed.

 

 

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