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Should The College Football Playoff Include 8 Teams Instead Of Just 4?

Submitted by on December 8, 2014 – 10:34 amNo Comment

Over the weekend, the teams who will participate in the very first College Football Playoff early next month were announced. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State will square off in a pair of semifinal playoff games on January 1 before the winners of those games play on January 12 to determine which team will walk away with the CFP national championship. And while those teams and their supporters were incredibly happy on Sunday afternoon after the CFP committee selected them to take part in the new playoff system, there were also quite a few teams who were not thrilled with the committee’s selections. Specifically, TCU—a team that was ranked in the committee’s top four prior to the start of the weekend—and Baylor—a team that handed TCU its only loss of the season—were left scratching their heads and wondering why they didn’t get a bid to the CFP.

It has some people questioning the intentions of the CFP committee and others questioning whether or not the CFP is the right system for college football. Because there are so many good teams every year, it’s going to be hard for the committee to choose just four for the CFP. And this season is an excellent example of that. Because while it’s hard to argue against any of the four teams that made the CFP, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that teams like TCU and Baylor got left out simply because there wasn’t enough room in the CFP for them. So it might be time for college football to consider an 8-team playoff system instead.

If an 8-team playoff system was put into place, the CFP committee could give automatic playoff berths to the champions of the five major college football conferences. Then, they could also hand out three berths to at-large teams who don’t win their conference titles. And while those selections might still drum up some controversy, there would be a lot less controversy because the committee wouldn’t have to try to explain why a conference champion wasn’t in the mix. Their response to teams who complain about being left out would be, “Win your conference title next year…and there won’t be a problem.” And the snubbed teams wouldn’t really have a leg to stand on after that.

Regardless of how many teams get into the CFP, there is always going to be a little bit of controversy associated with it. Just look at college basketball where 64 teams get into the postseason tournament and teams still feel like they get stuck on the outside looking in. But an 8-team playoff system could, at the very least, prevent really good teams like TCU and Baylor from feeling like they got snubbed. And it could add a whole new level of excitement and intrigue to both the college football season and the CFP selection process.

What do you think about the way the first College Football Playoff selection process played out? Could the CFP benefit from expanding to 8 teams—or do you think 4 teams is plenty?

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