The Eight Team Playoff

Change is necessary in the College Football Playoff

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The Eight Team Playoff

Aaron Mittlieder, Assistant Sports Director

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Twenty-three straight wins in college football. University of Central Florida (UCF) a D1 program previously led by Scott Frost, hasn’t lost a game since 2016. You probably think they have a shot at that national title with that amazing run, but that isn’t the case. Four teams in the College Football Playoff (CFP) every year just simply isn’t enough, and it would only be fair if the team with the longest win streak of any program right now could be granted a chance in an eight team playoff.

The ideal number of playoff spots is eight. That would allow each Power-Five conference champion to make the playoff, as deserved, and let the other power houses from other forgotten conferences. UCF for example would get a chance at taking home the beloved National Championship trophy. The reason is still unknown why the NCAA hasn’t extended the playoff because the decision is a no-brainer, noting the fact that ratings and revenue in the CFP would sky rocket.

Every year, college football holds its upsets during the regular season. For example, in 2017, Alabama got manhandled by arch rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Later on that season, Auburn didn’t even touch the playoff rankings and Alabama ran the table. The extended eight team playoff would give more chances to the teams who show potential against the best in the nation.  

For an eight team playoff, the first five spots should be filled with each Power-Five conference champion. Then the last three should be filled with at-large teams that show great skill and championship potential, but didn’t quite win their conference. The first set of games would start around mid-December, then the semi-finals would occur two weeks later around New Years and finally the championship would be played in mid-January. The NCAA prefers two weeks intervals between each playoff game because it would give the teams optimal time to recover and minimize injury/wear-and-tear. Although 16 games in one season is an immense amount of match-ups for any college team, but that eight team playoff would really bring forward the more durable and enduring teams of the bunch. Not to mention, those plethora of games can prepare those players for the NFL’s 16 game regular season.

The eight team playoff would also open opportunities for the non-Power Five conferences. Every year, we see the same teams make the big picture, but there’s always some lower-graded conference teams who maintain a solid record. For example, UCF and Western Michigan managed an undefeated record in the regular season during the past two years, but they weren’t even spoken about in the four team playoff selection. Last postseason, UCF went as far as beating number seven ranked Auburn in the Peach Bowl therefore proving they have the potential to compete for the top spot. Increasing the number of spots would let those teams sneak into the playoff and allow them to fetch the championship run they deserve.

In 2014, when the CFP was implemented, the end of each season changed for the better. Putting in an eight team playoff allows more teams get a serious chance at the title. Many fans enjoy the excitement it brings at the end of the year and the ratings would shoot up benefiting the NCAA. With the playoffs coming up soon, SB Nation and other writers and critics believe the eight team change could be implemented as soon as 2020. Neither the NCAA or writers have showed rough signs towards the implementation, and the CFP committee has publicly showed consideration. I foresee many benefits and simply a more entertaining league if the eight team playoff were to be implemented. It’s only a matter of time until the change is made, but as of now, the minuscule four team bracket will be the settlement.

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