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How to fix the college football playoff system once and for all

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Let’s be real, nobody likes the way the committee puts together the final four teams into the College Football Playoff. Year after year since 2014, we have seen the committee select their four best teams, using different formulas as they go along. It’s time to stop and create a formula so that the teams that deserve a shot for the National Championship will actually get a shot.

In 2016 and 2017, we have seen Ohio State and Alabama both not play in their conference championship game, but yet still found a way to get into the CFP. We have had five college football playoffs so far and only in two have all four teams won their conference.

There’s one more issue. Of those two seasons, the committee has left out one power five conference winner each time.

In 2015, 2017 and 2018, the Pac-12 winners have been left out of the top four spots. In 2017 and 2018, Ohio State won the Big 10 and was also left out because of Alabama not playing in a conference game and Notre Dame having an undefeated season. You can make the argument that Alabama was not one of the top four teams that prevented Ohio State from getting in.

Another issue is that Notre Dame needs to get into a conference, whether they like it or not. They’re too big and powerful to be an independent.

Now conferences have two divisions in which the winner of that division plays in the conference championship. It’s time to get rid of the divisions and let the teams with the two best conference records compete for that conference championship.

For example, this week LSU will take on Alabama and the winner will more than likely play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, even though the Bulldogs have had an easier road to the SEC Championship.

The two best teams in the SEC might be LSU and Alabama, but only one will get to compete for the SEC Championship. It makes no sense.

Then we have teams like Central Florida and Western Michigan finish their seasons undefeated after their conference championships, but get no shot to compete at the National Championship. How is that fair? It shouldn’t matter which conference those teams are in. How can a coach tell his team that they can win every game this season, but not be able to compete for a championship?

Should the committee expand the college football playoff to eight teams? The answer is yes because we will then see each of the five major conference winners get in no matter what, as well as other conference winners. Who is to say that teams from other conferences can’t compete for a national title? Everyone likes a good upset, just like in March Madness.

Now if the playoff does expand to eight teams, they can take away a regular season game or two to help player safety so that the season will end in the second week of January like it’s done for the last five years. With the season ending at the same time each year, this also means that you’re not extending the season into the academic year for the players as well as the recruiting process.

The formula is simple, win your conference and you’ll get in if you have a top eight conference and let the committee decide which seeds go to each team.


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