12-Team CFP Model Gaining Steam

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Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm just here for the hot takes on why automatic bids will destroy the sanctity of college football

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The "sanctity" being the bowl system and corporate/higher education greed?

Well, that and the sanctity of if we lose to UNC on opening night, we're eliminated from the playoffs even if we win the ACC.

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You might just be making a joke, but other people have made very serious assertions that we have no shot at the playoff with one loss, and I simply don't believe that is true at all. If we won the ACC with one loss in the first week I bet we would make the playoff. Especially if it's 12-1 VT with a win over 11-1 or 12-0 Clemson in the ACCG and probably our loss being to a 10-2 (required for us to make the ACCCG over them with a loss to them) or 9-3 UNC in week one.

The whole thing is absolutely useless to be theoretically upset about though, because we aren't going 12-1 and winning the ACC against Clemson this season.

You're right that I'm just cruising for laughs. I'm just here for the memes, as always.

That being said, I have to...

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Because if you have automatic bids it will mean that the team that wins the games they play according to the rules of competition that everyone knows at the beginning of the season will advance. That would lead to anarchy.

We should instead leave it up to a vote like nature intended.

Nature, you say? Sounds like a job for computers to me.

As an avid opponent of autobids for conference champions, I am here to provide freezing cold takes on why providing autobids won't solve any of the problems that CFB is currently facing.

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I agree on your later point. Expansion doesn't fix anything. But, I do support autobids.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

this. if you're going to expand, autobids makes the most sense for every reason. But simply expanding isn't going to fix the issues everyone is mad about anyway.

Onward and upward

I personally love Bar's proposed selection system that provides functional autobids to teams who win their conference and finish within the final top 12. I don't think an 8-4 team deserves an autobid. Being top 12 is more than a reasonable goal. We finished 12th, for example, after the ACCCG with two losses in 2010... to a G5 and an FCS team. There is no context where a 10-2 conference champion won't be in the top 12 unless they lost to two FCS teams (maybe).

Let's bring back the old "Big East" rule from the BCS and any conference that doesn't average 12th or better gets their autobid taken away!

P.S. The BE never had this problem but the ACC did and should have lost their bid to the BCS games.

if you're going to expand, autobids makes the most sense for every reason

Why? I said it in the last thread about this, but the conferences are so uneven (unlike professional sports), it doesn't make sense to me to give everyone an autobid, unless there's some sort of restriction on it (eg; need to win conference and be in top 20).

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this is a chicken and egg issue IMO. Part of the problem with CFB is the lack of parity between conferences. Starting all the leagues on the same field (even if they don't currently belong) will drive parity more than trying to artificially manufacture parity through arbitrary constraints on who gets a seat at the table (because some leagues are just better than others). If you're trying to create the most exciting playoff field in the short term, your solution is fine. The problem is that it doesn't adequately address the issue of talent disparity long term. The best players/coaches are going to follow the money and the money is going to be funneled to the teams that get those seats at the big table. Autobids would likely fail to provide the most exciting playoff in the short term but it would lay the ground work for the conferences to come a little bit closer to level in the long term.

Onward and upward

The 4 team model has shown that the exciting field hasn't panned out. Reward outcomes of actual competition instead of having a beauty contest. I don't want the arguments of whether a 3 loss ACC champion is better than a 3 loss SEC loser. Everybody has a chance to win a conference, no pity parties allowed. The top few exceptions will still get at large invites.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Starting all the leagues on the same field (even if they don't currently belong) will drive parity more than trying to artificially manufacture parity through arbitrary constraints on who gets a seat at the table (because some leagues are just better than others).

Yea, I disagree on this. Recruits care most about relationships and NFL prospects. Ability to win a Natty is much lower on the list. I doubt autobids will lead to more parity.

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One step higher. With consistent access to the playoff and the resultant $$, schools will be able to theoretically recruit more talent and sell their brand. It's not that much different than the selling point of much of the SEC bottom feeders - the opportunity to play against the best teams/players and showcase your talent.

I doubt autobids will lead to more parity

I'll concede that autobids probably don't lead to more parity on their own. But that's not my main point. Autobids are a step in the right direction. There are major structural issues within CFB that have led to the massive wealth gap between the haves and have nots. By adding arbitrary qualifiers for the playoffs (e.g. only conference winners ranked in the top 12) you're not addressing any of those structural issues at all. You're just sweeping those issues under the rug and putting a band aid on the problem.

CFB is broken. We know this because the games are getting increasingly boring and the competition at the top is really stale. Clemson, Bama, OSU, rinse and repeat. Simply expanding the playoff isn't going to resolve those issues. I think we agree on this point. The reason that simply expanding the playoff isn't going to resolve those issues is because they run much deeper than just making the playoff more accessible. So expanding the playoff and then adding qualifiers to try and force the most exciting matchups misses the point.

People don't want an expanded playoff per se. People want more variety in the playoff. People don't just love the NCAA tournament because there are lots of teams. They love it because you see different teams in it all the time (yes, the top teams are usually there, but you always have new teams which keeps it fresh). UMBC doesn't belong on the same basketball court as UNC, Duke, or UVA most of the time. But it's exciting when they get that chance. People love that. People don't want to see the top 12 teams every single year. They want to see teams from across the spectrum even if they know some of those teams stand no chance. I think folks would be okay with Bama and Clemson being in the playoff every single year as long as there are other new teams cycling through from the lower leagues.

Does expanding the playoff and having autobids fix college football? No, not in a vacuum. But it provides the foundation to build a more equitable sport through other structural changes. I don't think you would get the most competitive or exciting playoff possible in the first few years but it would be fresh each year and, with other changes, could bring the titans back down to earth a bit while lifting up some of the lesser teams. I'm not advocating for NFL levels of parity in CFB but I do think the disparity between the great teams and the mediocre teams is too great. That range needs to be truncated a bit to make college football interesting again.

VT basketball is not likely to win the NCAA tournament in the next 10 years. But the very fact that we stand a chance at getting to the NCAA playoff makes basketball exciting to watch every year. Fans don't get excited at the prospect of winning the NCAA. They get excited at the prospect of making the NCAA. To do that in CFB, you have to make the playoff realistically accessible. If you're going to expand the playoff, it makes sense to set it up so that conference champions get a seat at the table regardless of their records (and all of this chatter about "no body wants to see an 8-4 conf. champ" is just distracting nonsense. Most conference champions are going to be better than 8-4 so that is going to be the rare exception, not the norm. It's a stupid argument and I'm tired of seeing it)

Onward and upward

Great explanation. I really don't understand the popular fear of the rare "non deserving" conference champion entering a playoff field of 8, 12, or 16 teams. Same goes for the G5 champs. Nobody is saying they think they are better than some of the other conference runner ups, but they deserve the chance to prove it. Right now, they are playing in a league where there is no feasible way for them to reach a championship. I am fine if they never actually win, but they should have a path. There will still be at large bids for those with the best argument of not winning the conference.

Autobids may also make it more enticing to schedule quality out of conference games, which in my opinion would be better for the sport than anything playoff related.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

The Bowl system has to be eliminated. Nobody cares about dumb meaningless games. Who cares about the history of the cotton bowl or the galleryfurniture.com bowl?

Top 20 playoffs. Top 30. Pick a number where a wide variety of teams get a chance. Make the regular season great again.

I don't have a strong opinion on the bowl games. Some people love the "dumb meaningless games". I also don't necessarily think that bowl games devalue the regular season. I do think that it is important to the health of the sport to ensure that the regular season games retain their importance, no matter what direction we go next. I believe the 4-team playoff could have worked without devaluing the regular season if it had been structured a bit differently.

If there is a hill that I will die on, it's this one: The playoff lost all credibility/value when OSU was picked over PSU when PSU won the B1G. It signaled that the playoff was that in name only but still very much the popularity contest that the playoff was supposed to be replacing because fans didn't like it. That is the point at which I realized the "Playoff" is a sham and CFB is seriously broken. So, as I've said before, just expanding the playoff isn't going to fix anything. The whole system needs to be restructured. I would propose that expanding the playoff is an opportunity to begin that restructure project in a way that the rest of the sport can model to keep CFB healthy in the future. But I also know that the powers that be are selfish and single minded and won't make the changes necessary to keep college football interesting and fun.

Onward and upward

Agreed. I was very offended on behalf of PSU. They did their job and won the B1G and were deliberately skipped. Same has happened to UCF, etc.

I think whatever expansion, 8, 10 or 12. The conference winners have to be in there and there should be a maximum limit of 2 from ANY conference.

There are lots of issues with the bowl system (greed), but I love dumb meaningless games.

People don't just love the NCAA tournament because there are lots of teams. They love it because you see different teams in it all the time (yes, the top teams are usually there, but you always have new teams which keeps it fresh).

I don't think so - people like the NCAA tourny because it feels like anything can happen. It's just the nature of the sport. It's not possible for one player to get hot and dominate a team of more talented players.

I just don't buy your argument that this will somehow level the playing field in the longer term. ESPN currently pays $470M/year for the playoff. Assuming 4 leagues each get one representative in the playoff, and each league has a profit sharing agreement requiring them to share winnings with their ~14 member schools, that's an extra $8.3M per team per year. The SEC in total brought in $692M in TV deals last year, resulting in almost $50M/team. The way I see it, expanding the playoff - best case - will give G5 teams an extra $8M each year, and all the P5 teams an additional extra $8m each year. In this situation, I think we'd see the same 3ish teams make the final 4 each year and 1-2 'additional' good playoff game (although most years we would've seen this same game in an NY6 bowl game).

EDIT: Under the current proposal (6 autobids, 6 at large bids) there were multiple years where the SEC would've gotten 4 at large bids, and one seasons where they would've gotten 5 at large bids. This 12 team play off will not drive parity.

The fastest way to fix the 'problem' is for Nick Saban to retire.

UMBC doesn't belong on the same basketball court as UNC, Duke, or UVA most of the time. But it's exciting when they get that chance.

I disagree with this. I've only watched one half of a 1 vs 16 match up in my life, and it was the second half of UMBC/UVA. That game is almost never exciting. We shouldn't change the format of the playoff so we can see a major upset happen every 30 years (that's how often a 1 vs 16 happens in NCAABB).

VT basketball is not likely to win the NCAA tournament in the next 10 years. But the very fact that we stand a chance at getting to the NCAA playoff makes basketball exciting to watch every year. Fans don't get excited at the prospect of winning the NCAA. They get excited at the prospect of making the NCAA. To do that in CFB, you have to make the playoff realistically accessible.

I don't want this in college football. I really, really, really don't. The exclusivity of the playoff is the best thing about it. I love the fact that you can lose one game, and no longer control your own destiny. There's a reason many people (myself included) don't watch much college basketball until March - it's because there's no point to it.

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I am pretty sure people only like the NCAA for gambling purposes and for watching the #1 overall seed loose to the #64 seed...

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Never Forget

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

I dont gamble, and I love watching Duke lose.

I just don't buy your argument that this will somehow level the playing field in the longer term.

I don't have all the answers to fix the problems with CFB. I just don't. But structuring the playoff to funnel more money to the richer teams ain't it. Restructuring the playoff isn't the total answer. It's just the start. CFB needs a lot more than just a restructured playoff so regardless of which direction they go, if they stop with a new playoff system, it's useless.

The fastest way to fix the 'problem' is for Nick Saban to retire.

Nick Saban is a great coach but he is not responsible for the broken system. He might be somewhat responsible for taking advantage of the broken system but you can hardly blame him for that. And, again, there is no simple or quick fix. You're not going to fix CFB by changing one thing. And you're certainly not going to fix it quickly.

I disagree with this. I've only watched one half of a 1 vs 16 match up in my life, and it was the second half of UMBC/UVA. That game is almost never exciting. We shouldn't change the format of the playoff so we can see a major upset happen every 30 years (that's how often a 1 vs 16 happens in NCAABB).

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the basketball analogy since the two sports are completely different. I only brought it up because the spirit of the NCAA tournament is rooted in the excitement at the beginning of ever season that every team, including UMBC or Radford or some directional Michigan school, has a shot at the big dance.

The exclusivity of the playoff is the best thing about it. I love the fact that you can lose one game, and no longer control your own destiny.

There are 130 D1 football programs in the NCAA. A 12 team playoff is still pretty darn exclusive so I don't know what your issue is here. You are also hinting at the notion that expanding the playoff and allowing for auto-bids somehow lessens the importance of regular season games. I completely disagree with that line of thinking. In fact, I think it puts more importance on winning games in the regular season. Every conference game matters. And if you have a 12 team playoff with 10 autobids there are two at large spots available. Those spots are going to the teams with the best resumes. Teams will have incentives to win every single game in order to get to the promised land.

Imagine the pomp and circumstance surrounding a game between 9-1 Miami and 9-1 VT in November. The game has national title implications because the winning team secures a spot in the ACC CG with a shot to win the ACC and get a spot at the table. Even though each team has lost one game previously, they're still very much in it. That game matters. Every game matters. For every team.

Think about how important a game in late September is to a 3-0 VT team going up against a 2-1 Miami squad. The winner likely gains control of the coastal with a shot at the ACC CG and potential playoff berth. That game matters. To both teams. Every game matters. For every team.

Imagine how amped a 7-4 Duke team would be to go up against a 10-1 VT team with a shot to knock VT out of contention with a big upset? Think about how badly VT wants to win that game to improve their odds at winning an At Large bid as a 1 loss team with a strong resume? Every game matters. For every team.

But I say all that knowing that you and I just have fundamentally different views of the purpose of the playoff. You think the playoff should be about pitting the "best" teams against each other and seeing who comes out on top. You want to see the teams with the highest rankings from the perceived strongest leagues duking it out. I think the playoff should be about rewarding teams from each league for taking care of business during the regular season, winning their leagues and earning a chance to go up against the best teams from the other leagues. I know full well that all the leagues aren't the same. If I wanted to see the truly best 4 teams play each other I'd just watch the SEC and forget about the rest of CFB. But I don't want that. I want every league to play for something...for the potential to have a team with a magical season earn a chance to play against teams that performed the best in their respective leagues throughout the season. I want every league to matter. I'm tired of the SEC. I don't want to be forced to watch SEC semi-pro teams play each other over and over again. I want to care about the PAC 1X, and the ACC, and the MAC and the AAC etc.

EDIT to reply to your EDIT:

EDIT: Under the current proposal (6 autobids, 6 at large bids) there were multiple years where the SEC would've gotten 4 at large bids, and one seasons where they would've gotten 5 at large bids. This 12 team play off will not drive parity.

I'm not saying that it will. I'm not really sure why you keep bringing this up. Either you're not paying attention to what I'm saying, not understanding it, or just plainly ignoring me. FTR, I haven't seen the proposal but I have full confidence that this group of idiots is going to dream up something that doesn't address any of the deeper issues and ultimately resolves nothing. That said, my entire point is that there are deep structural issues within CFB and expanding the playoff isn't going to be enough to fix any of it. The powers that be need to do a root cause analysis (it's very clear they have not) to find out why people are dissatisfied with the 4 team playoff. It has nothing to do with the playoff being too exclusive. It has everything to do with underlying structural issues that go far beyond the post season system. Expanding the playoff is just a band aid and if they do that and nothing more we're going to have the exact same issues with it that we have with the 4-team playoff.

Onward and upward

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but from your above comment (and subsequent comments), it seems like you're suggesting that Bigger Table = More Teams at Table = More Equality for teams and their conference (long term):

Part of the problem with CFB is the lack of parity between conferences. Starting all the leagues on the same field (even if they don't currently belong) will drive parity more than trying to artificially manufacture parity through arbitrary constraints on who gets a seat at the table (because some leagues are just better than others). If you're trying to create the most exciting playoff field in the short term, your solution is fine. The problem is that it doesn't adequately address the issue of talent disparity long term. The best players/coaches are going to follow the money and the money is going to be funneled to the teams that get those seats at the big table. Autobids would likely fail to provide the most exciting playoff in the short term but it would lay the ground work for the conferences to come a little bit closer to level in the long term.

The bolded statements above seem to be the basis for your argument. I just disagree with this.

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you are grossly over-simplifying what I'm saying which, as a result, is ending up as you believing I'm saying something I'm not.

More teams at the table does not automatically equal more equality long term. There are a lot of steps that have to happen between "more teams at the table" and "more quality long term" before the latter can be realized. Simply expanding the playoff isn't enough to get that done. I'm going to make an aside here before coming back to this.

Aside: I think you and I probably agree that there is disparity between the leagues in CFB. We may differ on whether or not that is a good thing or a "problem". I think the entire basis of this debate is dependent upon understanding where we each stand on this. I don't want to see NFL levels of parity in CFB but I believe that the disparity right now is too great and problematic. I think the long term health of the sport will suffer if the gap isn't decreased somewhat.

Now, back to my point. Expanding the playoff, by itself, solves nothing. In order to drive parity, there needs to be several, deep, systemic changes made to CFB in general (beyond just the playoff). I do believe there is a problem that needs fixing. I don't believe the playoff is the singular fix. BUT, if you're going to start by fixing the playoff, structure it in view of the vision for the future, not based in the current reality. Set the playoff up to treat each league as equals. That's your starting point. But don't stop there. Continue making changes to the sport to drive the leagues back to a mean.

I believe CFB is broken. You may or may not agree. My argument is based on the idea that it is. If you disagree, then you just won't get my POV because in your view I'm trying to fix something that isn't broken.

I don't think expanding the playoff will drive parity. I don't believe that simply adding teams to the table will do so. I do believe that if you want to drive parity (and some people won't want to) the best way to do that is to START by treating the leagues as equals now and use that model to drive parity through other, systemic changes. By setting up a playoff without autobids or with a bunch of additional qualifiers (like ranking, SOS, resume, etc.) you're doing nothing to address the "problem" of disparity in the sport and only reinforcing the problems that already exist, thus making them more pronounced. If the playoff is based on "resume" or "ranking" then in about 3 years over half of the playoff teams will be from the SEC and the gap between the SEC and everyone else is going to continue growing exponentially until we have NFL, SEC, CFB, High School, Pee Wee.

Onward and upward

I see. Yes, I am not convinced that college football is broken (from the fans' perspective; it's very broken from the players' perspective), but I do think there is room for improving the post season.

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well I'm glad we got that out of the way. Hard to have a civil/constructive debate when we're not even addressing the same problem...haha

If all you think is needed is an improved post season it makes sense that the structure of it would be geared towards "the most exciting matchups". Fair play to you there. Cheers, and have a great weekend.

Onward and upward

It is pretty obvious how much more engaged the fanbase has been since the basketball team has been in the tournament conversation. If playoffs can do the same for football, it is worth it.

College football exclusivity began to sour on me when the BCS was created. At that point, we went from a group of bowl games that fans could decide order of importance for themselves to being told that BCS bowl games are the most important. Fast forward to the playoff and the gap between playoff games and gator Bowl grows even more. Now a whole lot of fanbases are sitting around feeling like losers thinking there is no way to catch up to the top 5. Bowl games are skipped by seniors. Playoffs provide hope, even if only of the slimmest chances of realization.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Bar...I'm gonna hone in on a small statement you made, "The fastest way to fix the 'problem' is for Nick Saban to retire". I've heard this repeated multiple times at an increasing rate over the last couple of weeks and it seems to pop up after Bama inevitably makes it into the playoffs. Are we so sure that Saban retiring "fixes" anything. I get that he started this arms race by being given an blank checkbook, but is everyone hoping that they pull a 80's/90's Miami and fall apart after he leaves?

Are we so sure that Saban retiring "fixes" anything

I think I've switched my opinion from 6 months ago - the reason we've seen so few different champions isn't Saban, but rather the structure of the playoff.

I think that Saban retiring adds a little bit more variety to the number of champions/championship competitors, but not much. I think that having a playoff helps the rich get a lot richer, the middle class get a little richer, and the poor get poor.

In the 16 years of the BCS, we saw 11 different champion programs, and 15 programs play in the championship game.
In the 8 years of the playoff, we've seen 4 programs win championships, 6 programs reach the championship game, and 13 programs make the playoff.

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Saban has an absolutely remarkable track record of not only recruiting truly elite talent in large quantities but developing it and getting them all to play cohesively on a consistent basis. Nobody else has ever even really come close to doing both those parts of the job so well. Even Clemson, who was rolling at an Alabama-like level most of the last 5 years, finally hit a wall this year, and it wasn't for lack of talent.

They'll suffer when he leaves. Doesn't mean they'll turn into Texas, but even just being really really good is a step down from the automatic NFL and championship factory they are right now. They've proven over the last decade to every 5-star player that even if you have to wait your turn on their roster for a few years, they WILL get you a ring and WILL get you in the NFL, and nobody else offers that. And as soon as that is in question the talent will spread out just a little bit more.

The table below does a great job of illustrating Bama's dominance in the playoff era. If Nick Saban retires tomorrow, and we have another 4 team playoff, where do you think Saban's 12 appearances go to? I would guess that 8ish go to some combination of Clemson/UGA/OSU/OU, 2-3 go to a different team listed below, and 1-2 go to a team not listed below. That's not fixing the problem.

SCHOOL GAMES RECORD TITLES WON
Alabama 12 9-3 3 (2015, 2017, 2020)
Clemson 10 6-4 2 (2016, 2018)
Ohio State 6 3-3 1 (2014)
Oklahoma 4 0-4 0
Georgia 3 2-1 0
LSU 2 2-0 1 (2019)
Notre Dame 2 0-2 0
Oregon 2 1-1 0
Cincinnati 1 0-1 0
Florida State 1 0-1 0
Michigan 1 0-1 0
Michigan State 1 0-1 0
Washington 1 0-1 0

The more interesting question is: If Saban never invented 'the process,' and never created the blueprint for complete alignment, would CFB be in a better place right now?

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Top 20 would be a compromise I would consider. But, with expansion comes an even more watering down of bowls. I would feel better about a very rare +20 team getting in than having that +20 team overcome the odds to win the conference and then play in a bowl game on a baseball field with 50 people in the stands. That rare case if given an invite is either going to prove why they should be there or get bounced by a higher seeded team in round one in a game that is likely to be at least as exciting as the semi finals we have had in recent years.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Fine have auto bids, but with a caveat that you have to also be in the top 20, or have no fewer than one or two losses or something. We need enough of an automatic qualifier to make sure a UCF situation never happens again, and not an automatic qualifier that will inevitably give us an 8-5 Pitt or Southern Cal, because something like that will eventually happen.

Hell, those last two were a fluke game away from happening within that last 6 years or so, had an automatic bid situation been in place.

Also, I absolutely detest the idea of having separat rules for the P5 and G5. Make the qualification strict enough that you can apply is to everyone equally.

Yeah if there's autobids you have to scrap the divisional format. I don't like that for regular season scheduling but its the only way it makes sense

I like this for the sport. Give some other people a chance to knock off some big dawgs and make a run.

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my biggest gripe is that i feel byes are too advantageous. Make it 16 teams and include all the conferences.

Baby steps though

The two days of discussion by the management committee are expected to yield a singular recommendation for the following week. That's when the CFP board of managers, a group of 11 presidents and chancellors from the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame,

That part in bold is probably one of the bigger reasons you'll never see ND join a conference. They'd lose their special invitation only seat to a lot of these power broker meetings. It would default to the rep from the conference.

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Those bold words are also why I wanted an 8 or ten team conference with auto bids. It would effectively force ND to get off the seat and actually join a conference.

Expansion is good but why do I get the feeling the committee will find a way to stick in 4 or 5 SEC teams every year

I would love a scenario where every conference champion gets an automatic bid. So, simple math, the only way the SEC gets that number is if we have a 16 team playoff.

Give me 8 or 16. No first round byes.

It's Time to go to Work

8 is the right number.

6 and byes is just going to guarantee that 1 and 2 go through to the final and it won't mean anything significant.

Looking at the pre bowl AP poll:

In 2012 did 11-1 Oregon (at #5) deserve to get in? Yeah, probably. Did 10-2 LSU (at #9) behind 3 other SEC schools? Nope.

In 2013 did 11-2 Pac 12 champ Stanford (at #5) deserve to get in? sure. Did 11-2 Mizzou (at #9) again behind 3 other SEC schools? lolnope.

2014 #5 tOSU at 12-1, B1G champs? YUP. #9 Ole miss at 9-3? GTFO.

2015 #5 Stanford, PAC champs? sure. #9 10-2 Free Shoes U? nope

2016 #5 PSU at 11-2. #9 USCw at 9-3

2017 #5 OSU at 11-2. #9 PSU 10-2.

2018 #5 12-1 OSU. #9 10-3 Washington.

2019 #5 11-2 UGa. #9 10-2 Alabama.

2020 #5 8-1 A&M. #9 11-0 Coastal Carolina

It's not always perfect, and some years four is going to be enough, but there certainly are years when #5 close enough that you really can't draw a distinction between the team at 5 and the teams at 2/3/4.

On the other hand, every team at #9 has significant flaws and doesn't have a legit argument that the should be in.

Since you have to draw a line somewhere, I think 8 is right. The line between 'has an argument' and 'GTFO, you have to win something' is going to comfortably fall somewhere between team 3 or 4 and team 6 or 7.

Autobids conference champs within the top 16, including the highest rank G5 champ, fills out from there by the committee. Not perfect still, but when LSU/MIZZOU/OLEMISS/FSU/USCw/PSU/UW/BAMA wants to bitch about how they shouldn't have been the last team left out, there's going to be a pretty convincing argument for how should STFU.

This all pretty clear breaks down in 2020, but so did everything else last year, so whatever.

(I was badly hoping for Texas or Mich to show up at #9 so I could snarkily dismiss them with 'maybe when you beat OU/tOSU' someday)

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Should be 16, 10 conference champs and 6 at large bids. eliminate the bowls and we have our playoffs. Winning all around...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

Make the playoff game the bowls and I think you have a win win solution for all.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Whatever happens it will likely not resemble
any of the logical suggestions here.

All SEC teams get a bid (Except Mizzou and Vandy), Bama always get a first round bye, the other bye rotates between GA, AUB, LSU.

(add if applicable) /s

12 makes sense...rewards the top 4 (bye), but also includes autobids.

when baseball expanded the playoffs, I screamed, then I saw how expansion actually made winning your division more important than before expansion...expansion CAN actually make the regular season MORE important!

I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

10 conference champions + 6 at large, provided those six do not play in conference title games, thus making the conference championships a de facto first round of the playoffs. No more than 3 teams per conference. P5 + top 3 G5 conference champions/Independents host.

Tier out the bowls so that the 10 conference championship losers get drawn into the top 5 bowls by a pre-determined bowl selection order, .
Repeat until you run out of eligible teams

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Ok hear me out, cause this is going to sound a bit insane, but ... well it probably is..

So we make it a 12 team playoff and each conference gets to put in a raffle ticket for each win they have. The name on the raffle ticket could be any school but most likely would be one from the conference. Then we draw 12 teams. So the more the conference wins the more chances. But a conference could put 100% of its votes to one team while others would split them.

Now I know what you're thinking, but it wouldn't be college football with out huge media bias. We fix that by having a number of permanent raffle tickets every year for Bama, USC, anOSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and maybe Mich/Neb to cover the blue bloods.

There will be so much controversy it will be amazing. Especially if an undefeated team loses out.

I like this idea; because neat little piles of CHAOS.

Additionally, I want a televised drawing of lots to see first round matchups.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

100% television involvement, I want each conference pick delegation televised too.

and none of the picks can be anonymous either. Every team has to declare, after their win, which team they write on their raffle ticket each week. That will amp up rivalries. Would make the whole circus that much more entertaining.

Onward and upward

I didn't think about weekly but there is only one thing to say about this idea:

I would prefer to use the wins/losses as a way of scheduling out of conference games.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Auto-bids for P5 conf champs? πŸ‘

12-team playoff? πŸ‘ŽπŸ’©

I am in favor of any change that a) gives more seats at the table to play for the championship, and b) removes media/voter bias from the process and finally c) does something to dilute the power imbalance in CFB. The situation that exists today is grossly imbalanced, therefore any changes have the potential to improve the competitiveness of CFB and make the product far more interesting. I am sick to death of seeing Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State owning their conferences for the most part and locking up 75 percent of the "playoff" each year. More teams, more upsets, more opportunity please.

Edit: and would somebody please tell Saban that his grandkids miss him and they want him to retire yesterday?

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

Pretty sure his grandkids getting free admission to Bama was part of his latest contract extension to 2028.

You're giving OSU too much credit :); Alabama, OSU, and Clemson have only locked up the top 75% twice in 7 years.
Alabama and Clemson definitely have a stranglehold (imo, deservedly so based on their performances).

The Cover 3 podcast from yesterday about this was pretty fun. The argument gets pretty intense between Tom Fornelli and Danny Kanell, and there are a lot of other positions represented throughout.

edit: I actually think every single person should have to listen to Fornelli's argument against 12 teams and how it won't fix many of the things people think it will. I'm not even saying he's 100% right, but I think he brings up a lot of stuff that I am seeing many people on r/cfb gloss over completely.

The playoffs is not what's killing college football, it's national recruiting

Free Hugh

The playoffs are why recruiting has become such a parity issue. If the same 3-4 teams are in year in year out they begin to suck up all the truly elite talent and allows them to sustain their dominance. Opening it up may not be a sexy option to some but to me it will slowly release the death grip the big teams have on recruiting. Now once the athletes can be paid thing comes that may just swing it right back but who knows.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Hard disagree. Players care about going to the NFL way more than going to the playoffs. The playoffs have not caused uneven recruiting; rather, uneven recruiting has caused the playoffs to be the same teams.

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Also, in an era with more mediums and access to communication than ever, recruits are even more privy to, and capable of creating for themselves, the benefits of bunching together in regards to the NFL.

- You all go to the same place to practice against the best each day. You only get 12-15 games a year, but many, many more practices. This is the iron sharpens iron approach that Bama pitches in terms of preparing players to become the best they can possibly be (which they need to make it to... The NFL).

There is a Playoff/title challenge benefit to this:

- You all go to the same place to increase your chances to get to take plane rides in a team logo wrapped 747, waltz into playoff games in your tailored suits looking swag, and play for a title. This is secondary to the first point, as I totally agree with your assessment, but it's a nice additional benefit of the talent grouping.

However, this is very much secondary to the prospect of providing yourself and your family with generational wealth.

12 team playoff- can't wait for the teams ranked 25-30 to start the " we coulda killed bama or clemson if we had made it in" arguments on talk radio.

Don't know about that, but I think we'll hear App St fan say something to the effect of, "We were beating Bama going into the 4th quarter, and then Saban flipped a switch, and it was over. Just got gassed. At least we still got the mobileissupposedtobeatouristtrap.com Bowl coming up championship week against 8-4 Florida".

Which is better than an App St fan saying, "We went 12-0, and won our bowl game over 8-4 Florida, we're national champions!".

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

mobileissupposedtobeatouristtrap.com

that took about 10 times reading to decipher

(add if applicable) /s

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Ugh vomit. If you're going to do a 12 team playoff, you need (1) need to seed/award byes based on the ENTIRE body of work - not just conference games, and (2) need to have every game except the championship be home field for the higher seeded team.

Honestly - point #2 is something really important. The BEST thing about college football is the weird, unique, regional quirks. It's Enter Sandman, the Cadets, Sandstorm, waving to the children's hospital, dotting the 'i', touching the stupid rock without tearing an ACL, tailgates at the grove, student sections, the power T, etc. PLEASE don't ruin the sport by playing what will become the 11 most important games of the season in bland, heartless, corporate NFL stadiums

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It is the 4 highest ranked conference champs. So you have to win the conference and have an overall body of work. No way in hell should a non conference winner get a bye.

Agree on the home field stuff. I think if bowls want to still be a big part of college football, they need to be regular season out of conference neutral site games.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

No way in hell should a non conference winner get a bye

Why not? What if it's a situation with a conference runner up has a h2h win and a better record than a different conference's champion?

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Then they can crawl their way back through the ranks. We have to get away from who we think is better and move toward winning it on the field if a true playoff is the goal. It isn't like they are getting cut out of an opportunity completely.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

We have to get away from who we think is better and move toward winning it on the field if a true playoff is the goal.

But in the scenario I've provided, the conference runner up is clearly better than the other conference champion, and has proven it on the field...

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so you're saying that if Clemson beats LSU in the reg season and LSU loses 2 other conference games but wins the SEC Championship and Clemson loses to, say, VT in the ACC CG you think that 12-1 Clemson (ACC runner up) is clearly better than 10-3 LSU even though LSU's other losses were to ranked Florida and South Carolina teams?

I just want to make sure we're on the same page here

Onward and upward

No - consider the following:

  • LSU beats Clemson in the regular season, Clemson loses to FSU, but Clemson wins the ACC at 11-2
  • LSU runs the regular season table, but loses to undefeated UGA in SEC Championship.

At this point:

  • UGA is 13-0 Conference Champ
  • LSU = 12-1 Conference runner up, with win over Clemson
  • Clemson is 11-2, with a loss to LSU, a worse record than LSU, and (in most seasons) a weaker resume than LSU, and finishes as the 4th highest ranked conference champion

You're telling me that Clemson should get a bye over LSU?

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consider the following:

Clemson beats LSU in the regular season, LSU loses to Auburn, but LSU wins the SEC at 11-2
Clemson runs the regular season table, but loses to undefeated UNC in ACC Championship.
At this point:

UNC is 13-0 Conference Champ
Clemson = 12-1 Conference runner up, with win over LSU
LSU is 11-2, with a loss to Clemson, a worse record than Clemson, but a stronger resume than Clemson, and finishes as the 4th highest ranked conference champion

You want to convince anyone outside of the ACC that Clemson is more deserving of that spot than LSU?

I'm trying to highlight the fallacy of your argument which is that conference perception plays too big of a role in determining who is more deserving of this or that. It's pretty much agreed across the spectrum that the SEC is the king of CFB, right? So the idea that a 12-1 Clemson team that beat a bunch of nobodies in the ACC (but lost the CCG) is more deserving than an 11-2 SEC champion who slogged through an arguably tougher schedule, no matter how unlikely you think it is, is absolutely asinine. Your entire argument is based solely on the idea that the SEC by far the strongest league. You're reinforcing that idea which is only going to make it worse. If you want to fix CFB you have to start by treating the leagues as equals (even if, in reality, they aren't) because as long as you keep treating the SEC as better than everyone that is only going to continue and the gap is only going to grow. A playoff structure (to start with) predicated on the idea that a certain league is arbitrarily more difficult to win than another league absolutely won't work if you want to drive the leagues towards more even footing.

edit: grammar

Onward and upward

shouldn't direct head-to-head results matter the most in determining seeding for a direct head-to-head knockout bracket?

The rest of the resume is academic relative to the head-to-head on the field result that actually took place.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The NFL has survived with divisional winners getting preference. It is an interesting debate because what I want is head to head priority in the playoff but want to establish a more structured path to get to that point.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

but want to establish a more structured path to get to that point

This is the root of my viewpoint. It's not I want the 'best' teams or anything like that; it's that I don't want a 'structured' path to a championship. I think the ambiguity in college football is a feature, not a bug.

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One of the most crucially unique things about college football. I don't want NFL-lite.

This, to me, sounds more like you are actually arguing for what college football used to be before BCS and playoffs. There is some merit there, because I think we have lost some of the things that made it great then. But, at the end of the day, I think there should be a national champion in this sport that isn't argued about for years. That is how we got here. Now, we have different P5 and G5 conferences that seem to almost be playing different sports. But, we are judging them with human eye tests. The conference champion autobids take opinion out. The larger field of 12 or 16 provides enough slots to have 11 consolation prizes each year because the bowl system has been ruined. I would argue to keep the 4 team model if there was a way to preserve the prestige of the bowls, but that hasn't worked. So the playoff isn't about making sure the best team wins anymore, it is about giving teams in the top ten percent of the sport closure on the season that the bowls are now failing with. It also gives the conferences with bad perception a chance at producing a title contender since current bias (even if right most often) is making it impossible. The whole college football layout is broken and I don't know how to fix it all.

After all that rambling, I do not feel bad for a 4th best SEC team being left out of a playoff simply because people THINK they are better than a lesser ranked conference winner. Why even have conferences if that is the case?

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

You lost me at ACC champion UNC 🀒

Yes. LSU will be the highest seeded first round game.

Disclaimer, I would prefer to not have byes at all, which would mean a number other than 12.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Literally, this is always how CFB has been done. Sometimes one conference has two incredible teams that both are contenders.

The problem arises when the 4th (and in SEC's case even 5th) best teams are being let into the field, which mathematically could basically only happen with rankings bias.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

About damn time.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Good scenario: the P5s/Indy + AAC, MWC, and CUSA. The four at larges can be filled with Sun Belt/MAC if even necessary, or teams that were strong enough to make their CCG but lost their regional championship OR their actual CCG.

For example, Bama didn't even win their conference yet won the 2018 CFP. Stuff like that.

CompSci

UH BS 20, VT MS 23.

Go Coogs, Go Hokies.

Looking at who would've made it in the past, 12 is definitely too many, 8 is the perfect amount. 5 P5 champs, 1 G5, 2 at large.

Also for the larger conferences: either scrap divisions, or expand conference championships to 4 teams. That way you don't get stuck with a 5 loss champ from the crappy division if they happen to pull one upset.

If you have to go with 12, then its gotta be P5 champs/runner ups and 2 G5 (kinda defeats the purpose of conf championships). Or have rules restricting conferences to no more than 3. Otherwise $EC bias will ruin it (they would have been getting 4 teams in every year and this is before rankings 5-12 actually mattered)

8 is the perfect amount

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Leg for the Meme.

But 8 teams with the 5 power 5 champs, at least 1 G5, and 2 at large with the caveat that no more than 2 teams from one conference is the perfect number.

This past weekend was one of the best weekends of cfb in a while, and it would be no where near as fun if there was a 12 team playoff.

Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I wanted to stir the pot a little.

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Rivalry week is always fun. A 12 team playoff won't change that. Weak argument

This is my school
This is home

I agree this past weekend was great, but it was an outlier. I wouldn't base future decisions about the CFP off one good week. Also, it's possible that OSU still makes the four team playoff instead of Michigan or Wisky, and then the weekend would really have been meaningless, instead of the kinda meaningless both teams making it would be.

Would you like Prys with that?

OSU ain't making it.

Oh. And stir the pot you have, my friend!

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VoTiNg GoOd, PoStSeASoN bAd"

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No need to convince me. I'm anti-playoff, anti-playoff expansion, etc. I think the playoff has taken the worst parts of the sport already and magnified them, but unfortunately, I believe they did so in a way that is permanent and irreversible damage. CFB was never meant to be so singularly focused on the national championship, particularly given the insane lack of parity. The 12 team playoff will inevitably devalue the regular season because it will basically guarantee that Ohio State and Alabama will make the playoff no matter what. Ohio State loses The Game to michigan to drop to 10-2 and miss out on the B1G championship? Doesn't matter, they are still in the playoff in a 12 team playoff as an at large. All for nothing basically. Bama loses to UGA next week? doesn't matter, 11-2 they are in the playoff. That could still happen in this playoff, theoretically, but they probably need Michigan, Okie State, and Cincy to all lose, or at least 2 out of the 3.

I understand the appeal of the 12 team playoff, and by giving more teams the opportunity to participate that should placate many programs and fanbases for a little while, but when it becomes clear that access doesn't mean you're more likely to actually win a title, which will be the case, I think you will see the apathy creep in again. Wake is having an all-time season, and they still got absolutely bossed on both sides of the ball by the worst Clemson team in a decade, in an expanded playoff, you think they have any chance of winning 3 or 4 games against that level of talent and competition in a row? Absolutely not. Thinking probabilistically, an expanded playoff is just making it even harder to win a title for a weaker side. Let's say a G5 gets in or a mid-tier P5 team, and they have .15 chance of winning against these better teams. In the current format you have to do that twice in a row, in an expanded playoff you are introducing a third or fourth .15 probability event. You're making it substantially less likely for a team like that to actually win a national title.

Plus, the strongest will likely get to play the weakest to advance while the middle teams weed each other out.

You're right.

I like an eight team playoff. Conference Champions. I'd even be tempted to make the seeding random.

The 12 team playoff will inevitably devalue the regular season because it will basically guarantee that Ohio State and Alabama will make the playoff no matter what. Ohio State loses The Game to michigan to drop to 10-2 and miss out on the B1G championship? Doesn't matter, they are still in the playoff in a 12 team playoff as an at large. All for nothing


when it becomes clear that access doesn't mean you're more likely to actually win a title, which will be the case, I think you will see the apathy creep in again.


Thinking probabilistically, an expanded playoff is just making it even harder to win a title for a weaker side. Let's say a G5 gets in or a mid-tier P5 team, and they have .15 chance of winning against these better teams. In the current format you have to do that twice in a row, in an expanded playoff you are introducing a third or fourth .15 probability event. You're making it substantially less likely for a team like that to actually win a national title.

Couldn't agree more

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How have you not learned about other sports? There's all kinds of sports. They're simply everywhere.

The 12 team playoff will inevitably devalue the regular season because it will basically guarantee that Ohio State and Alabama will make the playoff no matter what

They do a basketball version of a tournament already. Duke, UNC, Kansas, Villanova make the March Tournament every season.

Fuck those guys? Absolutely.

Blow up EVERYBODY ELSE'S postseason just to fuck with these guys; even if just a little, from time to time?

Screw that.

At-large bids don't make a tournament suck. In the baseball tournament, many of the same teams go year after year. It's the same with wrestling, golf, field hockey- you name it. Every college sport already does this; and some programs dominate year after year.

This is nothing to get theoretical about. It's a thing that happens everywhere, all the time.

I understand the appeal of the 12 team playoff,

should placate many programs and fanbases for a little while

I think you will see the apathy creep in again

Again, you're waxing hypothetical nonsense on a thing that happens, in real life, al the time. In the March basketball Tournament, FAR more unlikely odds are present (the 16 vs 1 seed).

"Apathy" is not an accurate descriptor of March Madness. "A little while" proves not to be an accurate sentiment.

And I really don't think you understand the appeal of the 12 team playoff.

At all.

You're simply viewing this as a non-Clemson fan obsessed over Clemson's football dominance. You're entire point can only be seen with this obsessive tunnel-vision.

Yes, Clemson will actually make the tournament more often as long as wild cards exist. But for once in history, all the rest of the country (the Conference Champions) will actually start playing for the National Championship in college football, too.

Right now, it's just four wild cards. Your whole argument seems to rely on the fact that as long as we restrict the field to 4 teams, it's all fine because half of the blue bloods will get left out of the tournament. (Completely ignoring the fact that 100+ teams exist on a plain of permanent irrelevance in this scenario).

Nobody needs App State or Central Florida to win it all to make it worthwhile. That doesn't happen in basketball, either.

UMBC never won a tournament, either. But they left an immortal skid mark the entire nation would be poorer without.

They simply got to play in a tournament. A seed they earned, no less.

That's what would make a postseason fun. The thing they do everywhere else already.

You're simply viewing this as a non-Clemson fan obsessed over Clemson's football dominance. You're entire point can only be seen with this obsessive tunnel-vision.

Yes, Clemson will actually make the tournament more often as long as wild cards exist. But for once in history, all the rest of the country (the Conference Champions) will actually start playing for the National Championship in college football, too.

Nope. I feel this way because it is not like any other sport, including college basketball, and especially professional sports in this country, in terms of parity. The NFL, MLB, NBA, all have various forms of parity controls. Smaller rosters, fewer teams to consolidate and distribute talent more equally via drafts, salary caps, etc. Equal revenue sharing from tv deals. College football doesn't operate like any of these things, and basketball is inherently easier to punch up because it's 5 players a team in a free-flowing game with a the great equalizing element of the 3 pointer. Additionally, an expanded playoff won't distribute talent more evenly, at least not in a material way, because talent consolidation isn't based on the playoff, primarily, it's based on being prepared for the NFL, which is the ultimate goal of the majority of elite talents coming out of HS. College football is the stepping stone to the NFL, and it's better to go practice 200 times against the best in the country, which is going to impact your development more than the 12-15 games you play a season elsewhere. This is the appeal of Bama, Ohio State, Clemson, LSU, Georgia, etc.

I doubt you'll change your opinion, but I want to address this attempt to 'read my mail' on the Clemson stuff is not correct. I think college football is best when everything is not about the national championship.

Parity only holds up when you compare college with pro. It's why I avoided mentioning pro sports entirely.

There's no "unique" change in parity across college sports. The three pointer doesn't suddenly make college basketball symmetrical and even. It does the same job as running the Air Raid, or the Triple Option.

The only reason more basketball upsets occur is because there are more basketball games, played out by more basketball teams. There is no great difference in frequency. Odds are odds.

It isn't easier to "punch up" because of the three pointer- it's easier to punch up because you have more chances.

And because you play out your postseason. The possibility exists. To punch up. In the postseason.

Parity isn't your original argument, either. Chris has 76,000 turkey legs on the Key Play. Nobody's "reading his mail"; I'm reading his posts. Here, scroll up a second or two:

The 12 team playoff will inevitably devalue the regular season because it will basically guarantee that Ohio State and Alabama will make the playoff no matter what. Ohio State loses The Game to michigan to drop to 10-2 and miss out on the B1G championship? Doesn't matter, they are still in the playoff in a 12 team playoff as an at large. All for nothing basically. Bama loses to UGA next week? doesn't matter, 11-2 they are in the playoff. That could still happen in this playoff, theoretically, but they probably need Michigan, Okie State, and Cincy to all lose, or at least 2 out of the 3.

Wake is having an all-time season, and they still got absolutely bossed on both sides of the ball by the worst Clemson team in a decade, in an expanded playoff, you think they have any chance of winning 3 or 4 games against that level of talent and competition in a row?

Not much of a chance. Wake's odds are LOOOOONG. Still, not zero.
Just like college basketball.
Just like college baseball.
Just like college hockey.

College football is unique that we (still) rely (almost entirely) on voters to officially determine how the season ended.

The two most unique parts of college football are the overwhelming popularity and crowds it draws, and it's shitty, underwhelming, exhibition-oriented post-season. The second one became parasitic to the first. It came after.

The reason you're not changing my mind is (well, I'm pretty hard-headed on a very few very specific and random things) and because I have a good idea of what a "new" and "radical" post-season already looks like. They exist, they're everywhere, and they're brilliant. I mean, you're not oblivious yourself-

I understand the appeal of the 12 team playoff, and by giving more teams the opportunity to participate that should placate many programs and fanbases for a little while, but when it becomes clear that access doesn't mean you're more likely to actually win a title, which will be the case, I think you will see the apathy creep in again.

This bolded statement you wrote is a workable definition of March Madness.

There's just no apathy. There is no "a little while". There are no penciled-in zeroes.

It's simple; follow the blueprint for sports, and you get sports.

It's better than what college football fans have right now. A fantastic season. Glorious conference championships.

Play one more random-ass team in Tempe a panel of voters determine definitively who all's better than who.

Good grief. Play that shit out.

Three pointers make it so you can pretty much roll the dice for any hot shooting team to have a chance against any opponent. In football no one outside the top 40 can touch the top 15. And no one outside the top 15 can touch the top 4-5. As a general rule, sometimes it's worse than this. Team #50 can still ball with team #35 and so on but there's certain levels that you aren't breaking through

The problem with a rationale like this is it's anecdotal. I've heard "the Great Equalizer" talk used to discuss the three pointer, and I've seen it in action in recent March Madness tournaments. I believe it, and I get it.

Unfortunately when you Google the term, all you basically get are recent March Madness articles. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but it didn't appear any of the links thought enough of the concept to do any math on the subject.

What I can do it dispute your second point about football thumbrules (I'm guessing you're kinda throwing numbers in there to display the concept, so I looked up something I could crunch numbers on).

When you discuss the basic tiers of teams (top 15, top 40, etc...), I could do some exhaustive research on how often certain teams perform against other teams. What I've done instead is simply look up the spread difference in football and basketball games.

In order to ensure 95% victory, a college basketball team will have to be favored by ~11.5 points. A college football team will have to be favored by 18. When you adjust these two curves to fit each other against a 100 point game average (as I've done in the graph), you can see that football upsets occur at a much higher frequency based on the spread difference.

Why is this? My guess, there are less football games. So oddsmakers have far less data to go on to determine who's likely to be good at football, while the longer seasons make predicting basketball far easier.

So whatever you're calling the top 15, or top 40, is likely far less accurate in football than basketball. Meaning, football teams appear to be far more likely to create upsets based on their projected "strength", at least according to all the money science can bet on.

That, and, if we're talking about the three pointer being a "Great Equalizer" when it comes to lopsided basketball games, it's probably a concept that was both tested and used a lot more often in tournament play. This whole rationale sounds more like "tournaments breed innovation" and a solid check in the positive column to me.

Some more math for your consideration- if we suggest that a 16 team tournament would be silly because it would discount the regular season, consider that a 16 team field of a 130 team league is only about 12% of the field. This still pales in comparison to every other comparable sport (NCAA basketball has 68/350 spots for 19%, and pro basketball and football are right around 37.5% and 53%).

Not only would I like to see a sport with a much higher upset potential hold a tournament every season.

I'd also like to see a sport who has had a far more complex history of innovative strategy to hold a tournament and see what evolutions of their "great equalizer" comes about through the years.

Leg just for using "probabilistically"

Disagree. It would be just as fun. The margin for error is still razor thin. Every loss is another shot for another team to get selected over you. Let's say Iowa wins next week. Ohio State won't get in over 2 loss Michigan as an at-large. That head to head would matter.

Look at Oklahoma. Essentially out of the 4 team, and possibly eliminated from the 12 team with a Baylor win.

Lastly, conference championships would matter, giving teams like Pitt and Wake a shot at the big one (deserved? Probably not, but if it's a qualifier, it counts).. Coastal Chaos would be must see tv every November Saturday.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

If by "fun", you mean uninteresting and meaningless, then yes, the first round of games would be fun.

12 team playoff probably going to gain steam now cuz OSU is out. Alabama almost eliminated last night as well. Notre Dame out. Heaven forbid we have a playoff without them.

Playoff committee will hedge their bet and expand so those teams never get left out

VT Marketing Class of 2009
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I know it's shocking, but it turns out we could probably have a playoff without those teams.

I know the CFB championship was well intentioned however even that has take away from the regular season. There needs to be some formula that could account for a Cincinnati to enter the conversation without so many subjective observers. The one thing great about the BCS is that if you were in a power 5 conference every game did matter because of the non human element go selection. If there was a way to blend the two together... that would eliminate a fcs style playoff and make the regular season that more important and exciting

8 teams. 1/2 computer rankings. 1/2 pollsters.

Going even further. At least 1 of the 10 or so computer ranking sets should not factor in strength of schedule or any sort of preseason data and be 100% equal for each team.

We could easily have a 12 team playoff without expanding the season and include a G5 conference champ. It will just take the alliance (ACC, B1G & PAC) to grow some stones and bite the bullet and do the following:

1). P5 division winners are in the playoffs (auto bid).
.
2). G5 division winners in the highest ranked G5 conference take last two spot in the playoff.
.
3). Mandate all conferences must only play in-conference games, or mandate that every P5 conference must play a 10 game conference schedule.
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4). Th conference championship games are now the 1st round of the National College Championship playoffs.
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5). Forgot to add, once past the first round, the two highest ranked conference champions get a 2nd round bye while the other four conference champions play against each other for the right to advance in the playoffs.
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Suddenly you have a 12 team playoff format that still makes the regular season valuable as well as making the P5 conference championship game more valuable to viewers. 2 G5 teams will now make it into the playoffs. No independents, so ND will have to make a choice.

Go Hokies!

After seeing the lopsided semifinals and post-season opt-outs, I continue to think about if a 12-team playoff would be better than a 4 team playoff, and if the BCS system is still preferable.

When CFB originally implemented the 4-team playoff, it was because teams that could have competed for the title were being left out. The 4-team playoff has solved this problem, but brought other unintended consequences (opt-outs, disinterest in the remaining bowls, the refocusing of the entire regular season on the playoff). The 12-team playoff will NOT fix all of the issues that the 4-team playoff has created.

A 12-team playoff will:

  • Increase the number of meaningful post-season games
  • Increase the number of teams/geographies that are represented in meaningful post-season games
  • Decrease the number of post-season opt-outs
  • Increase the number of regular season games that have an impact on the post-season
  • Decrease the impact that any single game will have on the post-season

A 12-team playoff will NOT:

  • Noticeably increase the number of teams that win a championship - We've seen 4 programs win championships in 7 years - a 12 team playoff won't change this much.
  • Noticeably increase the number of teams that qualify for the championship game - We've seen 6 programs qualify for a championship game in 7 years - a 12 team playoff will change this a little bit, but not much.
  • Increase parity across the sport - a 12 team playoff will not address the talent gap between Bama/OSU/UGA/Clemson (each of whom have 10+ 5-stars and 40+ 4-stars) and everyone else.

I really enjoy watching the non-playoff NY6 games, and TO ME, they are not more/less 'important' than they would be if they were included in a playoff, which is why I don't see the need to expand. Others may disagree.

But if you think the problem with CFB is inequality, the 12-team playoff will do nothing to address that.

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A 12 team playoff gives a greater possibility for any team to win a title in a given year. Will it immediately increase parity? No. Will it eventually do so as players realize they can still play on the big stage (playoff) and make a name for themselves without needing to go to Bama, Clemson, Georgia, etc? Yep. Wouldn't be quick, but in 5-10 years time, the landscape would very much be changed for the better.

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Yea, I just disagree. Of the former players I've heard interviewed or met in person (from any school), everyone list (1) really liking a coach/scheme/school or (2) path to NFL as their primary reason(s) for attending a school. Winning a national title is more of a bonus; it isn't as high on the list as fans think.

IMO, there's two ways to control parity in the sport:

  1. Non-blueblood programs embrace NIL
  2. Level the playing field by limiting the staff size of a P5 program

The ONLY way that a 12-team playoff can increase parity is:

  • If it somehow helps more players at non-bluebloods schools get NIL deals, thus spreading talent - I think this will happen a little bit, but not to the degree necessary to really make change
  • Coaching talent spreads out across the country instead of being concentrated in the southeast - I don't think this will happen, because I think coaches will go to the schools that can pay them the most, which is the blueblood schools

I just don't see it happening.

EDIT: Spelling is really hard.

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Coaching talent spreads out across the country instead of being concentrated in the southeast

If you're talking elite coaches, sure. But there's only a few of them.

Great coaches exist all across the country. Hell, the MAC is known for being a coaching springboard. MWC has quite a few good coaches. BYU, Army, the B1G. These coaches exist now. They can truly test their mettle in big playoffs games, even if it's a spring board to the SEC.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Great coaches are still limited based on the resources and talent at their disposal. We just saw the best mid-major team/coach in modern cfb history get trounced by Saban.

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It won't increase parity because talent dispersal isn't primarily dictated by winning championships, or the ability to do so, it's to prep for the NFL for top HS talents.

Bama, Georgia, Ohio State, etc will remain the primary talent destinations because you practice a hell of a lot more often than you play games, and iron sharpens iron in practice against the best at a higher frequency, thus remains your best bet to be prepared and developed for the NFL.

A 12 team playoff gives a greater possibility for any team to win a title in a given year

I disagree. Though technically true in the sense that more teams will have (an extremely small chance) of winning a title, it will actually be even more difficult for a less talented team to win a national title in the BCS or current 4 team playoff because you will have to win MORE games in a row to win a national title.

Can you get lucky against a much better, more talented team once? maybe twice? An expanded playoff means you have to do the improbable 3 or 4 times in a row. Every low probability event you add the equation makes it substantially less likely to happen.

This right here is why I dont think it would be good for VT to make the playoffs. We have the #6 winningest FBS coach. He's a hall of fame coach. He couldn't win two games like that in a season much less back to back. He couldn't win two games like that in a career. Most teams can't do that.

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Increase parody across the sport

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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Nick agrees:

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If this is the best four teams....

Not necessarily. By the way the committee selects teams, it's merely the for most deserving teams, based on whatever metrics they choose. That said, this year there were a pretty clear top 4, but if we still had the BCS it just would've been Bama blowing out Michigan instead, with Georgia left out entirely.

Idk - I think if it was 'most deserving' UGA wouldn't be in, because they lost their conference. But UGA is clearly one of the 4 best teams (if not the best team) in the country.

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This is exactly why folks prefer to have a larger playoff pool. I'm sure any Furman fan who has come to see them play in Lane is just happy to see their team play in what, to them, is a big game. It's better, to many folks, to have games played instead of worrying about whether they'd be close matchups. We'd still get games like VT-Michigan (it was a catch!) with a larger playoff pool replacing what used to be the NY6.

Let the kids prove it on the field instead of their grandparents proving it in the meeting room.

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based on whatever metrics they choose

Meaning P5 teams with one loss before P5 teams with 2. And the only other P5 team with one loss didn't win a conference either.

A 12 team playoff, with 8 teams just there to hear their balls rattle.

As Ari Wiserman said on the Andy Staples show this weekend (going from memory): "You're still taking the cows to the slaughterhouse, you're just taking them on a nice(r) walk on the way there"

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Pretty much. If you think 1 vs 4 was an unfair slaughter, imagine 1 v 8 (or 12, or whatever).

If it's a 8 team playoff, I think it should be:

  • 5 conference champions
  • 2 highest remaining teams
  • 1 highest ranked G5 team

If it's a 12 team playoff, I think it should be:

  • 5 conference champions
  • 5 highest remaining teams
  • 2 highest ranked G5 team

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I feel like just expand to 8 for now. I hate this whole conversation about the top 4 right now being a blow out. Yeah the top 2 schools are much better than the field right now (and probably most years) but lets not forget that they were ranked 1 and 3. IMO the whole idea of the playoff is to iron out the obvious errors in eye test ranking teams that haven't played each other. 4 does that but why not have it at 8? It adds excitement, probably doesn't change the outcome. I see 0 negatives to expansion to 8 and if that works, 12 would be where I'd max it out at. After 12 we start getting into the number of games played issues

(add if applicable) /s

It adds excitement, probably doesn't change the outcome.

If the semi finals are always blowouts (which I believe they will be) I don't think it will add excitement.

I see 0 negatives to expansion

It devalues the regular season. The fact that OSU would've still made the playoff after losing to Michigan is meh. And I know that UGA got in despite to losing to Bama. To me, that is also annoying.

Give me the top 4 conference champions in the top 8, or the top 8 conference champions in the top 12, then fill out the open spaces ONLY if there is not a suitable conference champion available.

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I don't think your devaluing the season at all. You're playing for the automatic buy in. There's more devaluation coming from the way individual conferences are organized. This is true in the B1G and SEC on most years where your two best teams are in the same division. That's not an issue with playoff selection or one that formatting the playoffs is going to fix.

The 8 team format laid out above would have put (not in actual ranking not sure how that would work)
1) Bama
2) Michigan
3) Pitt
4) Baylor
5) Utah
6) Georgia
7) Ohio St (or ND depending on how you categorize Independents)
8) Cinncy

There are certainly some issues that come as far as how you seed everyone. If Georgia plays Bama before the finals its probably leaves an easier path for the winner. If the committee just seeds these 8 teams which is likely what would happen there would be some exciting games on the slate that mean more than the bowl games these teams ended up at.

I don't think entirely excluding teams from the playoff because they didn't win their conference game is the answer to me that makes the regular season more meaningless than including them. "hey you played like one of the best 8 teams all year but you lost one important game so now you're not"

(add if applicable) /s

I don't think entirely excluding teams from the playoff because they didn't win their conference game is the answer to me that makes the regular season more meaningless than including them. "hey you played like one of the best 8 teams all year but you lost one important game so now you're not"

I think this is why 12 is best vs 8... But I would still be good with 8... Ideally if you are ranked high (top 10ish) and in your conference championship game and you upsetted, you still in theory have a good shot of making playoffs with the at large bids.

No perfect solutions by all means, just think that would make more sense while giving the small guys a chance to prove themselves each year.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

So if this season had had those teams ranked as they were the matchups would've been this I guess.

In one side of the bracket youd have

#1 Alabama vs #12 Pitt #2 Michigan vs #11 Utah

#4 Cincinnati vs #7 Baylor #3 Georgia vs #5 Notre Dame

Honestly Would have made for some better games probably in the first round and more time for players to play against higher level opponents which as previously players want to play against the best. Sure you may get a blow out at times but saying it needs to be limited to 2 or 4 is getting tiring. If the committee actually would set metrics to the playoff qualifications then I could see staying at 4 but they never will and shouldnt so I dont see how expanding to 4 would dilute things that much.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yea I agree 8 is a good start for now but I still think 12 is the perfect number.

Would work very similar to March Madness tournament where it's not the top 68 teams, but the 68 qualifying teams while not leaving out the top remaining teams even after selecting conference champions and at large bids, in this case that would be giving G5 teams a chance every year.

I think 1-8 should be ranked by final rankings, no matter if you were an at large bid or a conference champion.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I still don't want a 12 game playoff. Nobody should have a bye in a college playoff. Play 1 vs 8.
Power 5 Champs, Highest ranking G5 and 2 at large. No more than 2 from a conference.

This year we still would have had Georgia and Bama. The ACC rep or Pac 12 rep might have even been the 8 seed to play Georgia.

And yet 60 teams get a bye in the basketball championship. And some teams get byes in other levels of football. Not sure I agree with your opinion here.

Having play-in games is dumb in the first place and calling it a first round bye for the other teams is silly.

It's Time to go to Work

Agree with macraw83.

Also, 1 vs 8 is asking for even worse football games than the semis are now. 12 vs 5, 11 vs 6, and so on would likely be good games. This could be a way to make more bowls relevant, while giving us good games. The odds of teams 5-12 actually winning a championship are basically zero, but it would at least add more excitement to what is currently a terrible post season.

The playoffs have never had both semifinals be competitive so let's give the top teams an even greater advantage seems like an obviously terrible idea.

It's Time to go to Work

I don't look at it that way. Each year only 1-3 teams can really win the national championship. Going to a 12 team playoff just makes more meaningful post season games. With a 12 team playoff you're also forcing 1-4 to play an extra game, compared to now.

You can do that with 8 teams but then the quarterfinals would be competitive even less often than the current semis.

The end result basically never changes from the current 4 team system regardless, but going to 12 teams would add better games than going to 8.

Ah, but what happens when you play that 1st and 2nd round on campus the weeks immediately after the conference title games?

Bama doesn't get to spend a whole month scouting, game planning, or recovering from injuries. Its 2 normal game weeks, with a bye for the top 4.

Hell, Kenny Pickett and Pitt against a full Mich St the week after the ACC title game would have been a fun watch. Then Bama getting upset the following week in Tuscaloosa would be real drama.

Or how about Baylor taking on Notre Dame in Waco? The winner only gets 6 days to lick their wounds before traveling to Ann Arbor and Michigan.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

So then what is the point? More teams get the claim they made playoffs? You just described exactly what we have now, 4 teams that have a legit chance to win a title play each other and then there are some entertaining 6 v 8 games that have no real impact on the title hunt.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

I would look at it as more teams get some of the playoff money and the playoff experience which could potentially help get the talent more distributed to more places instead of all at 4-5 schools. There has to be some effort to prevent Bama and the true elite from continuing to leave the rest of CFB behind and to me including more teams in the "holy grail" or highest level of CFB competition is one of the better ways to do this. Will it solve the parity in the sport? No, but it could help bring the ones running away from us all down a peg or two.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I dont see how expanding the playoffs will change the distribution of talent. If you want to go to the NFL Bama, LSU, UGA, OSU, OU, ND, MissSt, UF, Miami, Wisconsin, Michigan, FSU.

Those programs have the most players in the NFL. You keep going down the list you get more SEC, Clemson and some Big 10.

Bama doesn't get talent because it wins championships, they get talent because they put players in the NFL.

No one is viewing going to the playoffs as a huge accomplishment other than probably Cincy. Programs are firing coaches that have been to the playoffs, and only 13 teams have been. Getting clobbered by Bama/UGA isn't a reward for a great season. We'd have a shit show of a thread here if we got trounced in the playoffs. And so far only one VT team has beat a top 5 team, so why that can change, its not looking good.

I think giving more teams a tangible path to the championship is a pretty big deal and pretty important, even if the expected outcome or quality of games isn't necessarily any different.

I think giving more teams a tangible path to the championship is a pretty big deal and pretty important

IMO this is the worst rationale for a playoff, and destroys college football. The most exciting part of college football is that no one truly controls their destiny. As a result, every game has some impact on every team. I just hope we never have a system where it's "if you win one of these X conferences, you're in, regardless of your record."

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That's a great argument to not have a playoff at all. Just let them vote like they used to.

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The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

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If it's truly a playoff, let's say 12 games, shouldn't they be selected only from the top 30 teams (130 total in FBS) ranked by a composite system, such as the Massey composite?
Massey Ratings

gtofever

Let's be real. We only need a 1 Team Playoff.

Alabama will win the National Championship every year unless they beat themselves.

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2018 they kind of did beat themselves. Between the injuries they had by the playoff game and more than half their staff taking other jobs and mailing it in for the playoff. Tons of reporting that it became easily the most dysfunctional year in Saban's tenure before the regular season even ended. There was in-fighting between coaches about position titles and who was getting credit for the offense (ironically, it was none of those losers, it was Tua + four 1st round receivers + 2 1st rd RB's and Damien Harris making the offense awesome). This culture apparently leaked over to some of the players who allegedly were more concerned with figuring out how'd they allocate their signing bonus instead of the playoff games. It wasn't long before Saban couldn't wait to get rid of those guys and move on to the next year. Half the guys took other jobs, and a few more Saban "helped find another job." I remember Saban talking about how poorly the team was practicing leading up the playoff and title game, and that's usually a telling sign for his teams. Not to take anything away from a very good Clemson team, but at the very least those things robbed us (the viewers) of another Bama-Clemson classic. Even just a couple key players (Trevon Diggs (DNP), Christian Miller (DNP), Tua) not being injured would have likely made it a classic akin to the 15 and 16 season championships.

There doesn't need to be a bigger playoff. Start by acknowledging the conf champ game as a defacto first round. Bama best GA so GA doesn't get in. Would increase parity (possibly parody too) by offering more avenues to the playoff to players outside of the one conference to rule them all. 12 teams only adds more boring blowouts.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

12 teams only adds more boring blowouts.

You're saying this in the same statement that takes the second best team in the country out. If you remove UGA from the playoff you just have 2 rounds of blowouts lol

(add if applicable) /s

For the conference championship games to be the "de-facto first round" you first need all conference champions to reach the "de-facto second round", which requires at least 10 teams in the actual playoffs, but you'd need at least a couple at-large spots anyway in case an independent is good enough to make it.

If it were me with a magic wand I'd go one of two ways, both of which automatically eliminate independents and non-conference champions from playoff consideration. Join or die.

1) Move to 4 "super conferences" in the model of the SEC. This likely looks like Notre Dame joining someone and the Big 12 being absorbed into the ACC/Big10/Pac12. The 4 conference champions are your playoff teams, making it a de-facto 8 team playoff. In this scenario conferences would still have the right to determine qualification standards for their conference champion (division champs, two highest ranked etc.).

2) Take the top 6 conference champions, regardless of P5/G5. Top 2 teams get a bye. This becomes anywhere between a 12-20 team playoff, arguably.

You #1 option would be the best for football but without a magic wand runs into a ridiculous amount of other issues with non-football sports, money, TV agreements, etc. The concept is the most logical (aside from G5 arguments) but how we actually get there is a disaster.

(add if applicable) /s

All I hear is want for better games, and concern that expanding the pool wouldn't improve that. Well, there were some really bad bowl games outside the semifinals, and some really good ones too. Ones that could have been match-ups in the playoffs like anOSU vs Utah, or OKSt vs ND. Who knows what momentum a big win would give a team heading to the next round. But having those games a part of a playoff makes them that much more intriguing.

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But having those games a part of a playoff makes them that much more intriguing.

This is where I disagree. A fun game is a fun game. Coastal Carolina/BYU was the best game of 2020, and it had no bearing on the CFP.

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And they can still happen! Nobody is taking them away.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

For sure.

I just think the downsides of an expanded playoff (less parity, devalued regular season, autobids for conference champions that aren't deserving) outweigh the upside (getting a few extra games that seem like they matter more even though they will have no impact on who actually wins the title)

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