College Football Playoff needs to expand

College+Football+Playoff+needs+to+expand

After many hard fought battles during the regular season, the College Football Playoff committee choose No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State, and No. 4 Washington.

Ohio State was the first team to ever be chosen for the playoff as a non-conference champion, since its start in 2014.

Penn State was the Big Ten champion of 2016, and it’s a shame that they were left out of the playoff. They ended the season 11-2 and were ranked fifth by the playoff committee.

However, you can’t really expect an 11-1 Big Ten team in Ohio State to be left out of the playoff, especially when the Big Ten is arguably the best conference in the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision – NCAA Division 1-A).

Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion, who finished the year 10-2, was ranked seventh by the committee. This is the second time the Big 12 champion was left out of the playoffs in the three years since the playoffs creation.

No. 2 Ohio State played No. 6 Michigan on Nov. 26. Ohio State won in double overtime in what was essentially a play-in for the College Football Playoff. Photo credit to Joebengo: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Michigan also is a playoff caliber team. They finished the year 10-2, ranked sixth, with their second loss on the final week of the regular season to Ohio State in double overtime.

The only other undefeated FBS team besides Alabama this season was Western Michigan, ranked fifteenth by the committee. Sure, they played in a much weaker conference (Mid-American Conference), but any undefeated team should get a chance to prove itself.

The obvious solution to this problem is to expand the College Football playoff to eight teams. All champions of the stronger Power Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) would get automatic berths. The best team from the weaker Group of Five Conferences (The American, C-USA, MAC, MW, and Sunbelt) would be chosen by the College Football Playoff Committee and get a berth to the playoff. The final two spots would be at-large bids that go to the next highest ranked teams, as chosen by the Committee.

The seeding would be decided by the rankings of the committee. This would make the playoff games this year be:

#1 Alabama vs #15 Western Michigan

#2 Clemson vs #7 Oklahoma

#3 Ohio State vs #6 Michigan

#4 Washington vs #5 Penn State

This system would give most of the teams that deserve playoff recognition a chance to rise up to the occasion, instead of leaving out many teams that should have a chance for the title. Plus, there is an added bonus of more playoff football for the fans to watch.