Decatur High School

Face off: How should the college football postseason change?

Sam Levy and Jake Rodgers, Carpe Diem staff

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Its bowling season, not literal bowling, but the College Football Bowl season has begun. The biggest issue with the current system is how the national championship game is decided. How do schools who don’t play in the major conferences get a shot at the bigger bowl games? Around the nation, people call for a playoff system within College Football, but are playoffs really the answer to deciding a national champion of College Football?


Sweet sixteen is the way to go

By Sam Levy

Practically every other college sport has a playoff system. Why should the most lucrative and popular of the college sports not? A 16-team playoff system should be implemented in college football. The 16 top-ranked teams would earn spots in this system, creating a more intriguing and fair process to determine a national champion.

A regular season for college football programs would be decreased by two games, leaving a ten-game season. This way, student-athletes would not be playing in different cities during academic finals. The national champion would be determined before the semester is finished.

The Bowl Championship Series, the committee that ranks the teams, often favors undefeated teams. This causes coaches to schedule easier teams and to increase their chances of a perfect season. By bringing in a playoff system, undefeated teams might still make the playoffs, but they would have to show themselves against other top-of-the-line teams to demonstrate that they are worthy of a national championship.

A playoff system would also help college football become more about actual football instead of money. Six of the most powerful conferences play in the highly-profitable bowl games. The team that actually plays in the bowl game gets most of the money, and the rest of the it goes to the conferences. If a playoff system were enacted, the profits from the games would be more widely spread. Money would no longer be the biggest motive – winning would.

But what about the schools that don’t make the playoffs? College basketball has found the answer to having a post-season for schools who don’t make playoffs. By introducing the NIT tournament, teams who did not make the national championship tournament can still have a chance to compete in the postseason. College football could add a similar tournament.

Replacing the bowl games in college football with a playoff system would let the fans know who the best team is. The national champion would have to win a tournament consisting of the top 16 schools. This would separate the champion from the rest of the pack.


Do it like the pros

By Jake Rodgers

A six team playoff system should be the system for deciding the national championship in college football. Have the champions of each conference – Southeastern, Atlantic Coastal, Pacific, Big Ten and Big 12 – receive an automatic spot, with the sixth team being a wild card chosen by an informed panel of voters. The conference champions would receive rankings also given by the same voters who chose the wild card team. The number one and two teams would not play in the first round. The fifth highest -ranked team would play the number three team and the wild card against the number four team.

In order to have a playoff system, the regular season schedule would have to be cut two games, reducing the number of regular season games from 12 to ten.

Another critique of a playoff system is that more games equals less time around the school. A good point, but by reducing the regular season from 12 to ten games the players will actually be at school more because playoffs wouldn’t occur till the beginning of December, is when most colleges let off for the holidays.

Now, the playoff system would only replace the current Bowl Championship Series system. The rest of the bowl games would stay in place. By having playoffs, we could truly see who the best team is. The best teams from each major conference would end up playing each other to see who deserves a chance at the national championship, and from there, to the victor goes the spoils.


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Decatur High School
Face off: How should the college football postseason change?