clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Better Football Through Science: A Few Modest Proposals For A Bigger, Better College Football Playoff.

NCAA Football: Arkansas State at Alabama
This is bull, and he can’t believe you’re gonna make him wade through two more rounds of bull.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps you’ve heard. Discussions are afoot to expand the College Football Playoff from four teams to, well, some number larger than four. The discussions remain fluid.

But make no mistake, this is something that is going to happen and the reasons for it are myriad. Of course there’s the money. There’s also the fact that the PAC-12 can’t shoehorn a team into the current model even if you gave them a pallet of crowbars and 20 gallons of Crisco. Finally, there’s always the television angle. Actually, that last one also files neatly under the heading of money.

Bottom line, there are a lot of people who stand to make a lot of money from expanding the College Football Playoff. And if you’re wondering what’s going to happen in college football you can generally get a good bead on it by asking yourself “what’s the road that leads to more money for television networks and schools?” Whatever the answer, that’s what’s coming.

What will the expansion look like? There are those who support a neat doubling to eight teams. Minimalists want six teams with the top two teams getting a first round bye. Some want to go as high as twelve, giving seeds 1-4 a bye, teams 5-8 a first round home game, and teams 9-12 the farcical illusion that they have a chance in hell of winning the whole thing.

They wouldn’t. Imagine some fairly competent 12th ranked Boise State team having to travel to #5 Ohio State, then being rewarded for pulling the upset by turning around a week later and getting a fresh, rested Alabama or Clemson. The truth is a longer playoff benefits the schools with the deepest rosters, and those are the ones who’ve won every title in the playoff era.

So if this process isn’t going to get more competitively equitable, it might as well get more entertaining. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of modest proposals for the expanded College Football Playoff that should increase watchability. If you see Mark Emmert tell him he can thank me later.

  • Expand to 16 teams. But the top seed alternates between Rutgers and Pitt.
  • The 5th seed is composed of all-stars from non-playoff teams. But the plays are called by fan vote.
  • The top seed has to sub out its quarterback for an offensive lineman on at least three plays per quarter, and one of them has to be a pass.
  • Reserve one spot for the winner of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. If we’re going to have a plucky underdog in the fight why not the Midshipmen or Black Knights of the Hudson instead of some middle of the road Big Ten team?
  • Lower seeds get to pick one player from their higher seeded opponent to sit out the first quarter of each game. Just to make it a little more sporting.
  • After the teams are selected we have a random draw of straws. Short straw gets coached by Dave Wannstedt in round one.
  • If Texas makes the field and wins in round one they get a round two bye. If they lose, their boosters have to pay every American $50.
  • Any coach willing to coach an entire game shirtless gets three free points. Pantsless coaching earns seven.
  • Dan Mullen’s Florida team never get to participate. Oh wait. That’s the current playoff model.

Feel free to include your your own suggestions in the comments. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!