With every announcement of the College Football Playoff semifinals there’s always complaining.
Someone didn’t get in for some reason, whether they had a bad loss or didn’t play a tough-enough schedule, and so it's easy to place the blame on the process.
This isn’t anything new, yet has just shifted the focus of the debate about determine the national champion.
While there are calls to expand yet again to a tournament with eight teams instead of four, here are eight reasons why the conferences – who run the playoff and not the NCAA, an important distinction – shouldn’t budge.
You can't assume every conference is equal. They clearly are not. So why should each conference champion get an automatic bid? It’s already an issue because Georgia is clearly one of the four best teams this season and is on the outside looking in from the Sugar Bowl. Going to eight teams will only make that more of a problem.
The players. Whatever happened to we have to shorten games and do everything in the best interest if the players? College football needs to stop adding more games. Remember, the big compromise to the conference championships was every team got to have a 12th game every season. Now they’re playing up to 15 games. People need to stop and think about the players for once.
You go to eight teams and people will immediately want 16. It happened when the BCS was just two teams and now we’re at four. There will always be calls for more teams to make the field. The aim is to determine the best champion, not make everyone feel good for being included.
Scheduling. If you add another round when would it be played? Teams are tired and beat up at this point of the season. There’s a strong sentiment to have two bye weeks during season and with all the physical and mental demands they're needed. The athletes are now taking finals and then it’s Christmas, plus remember the teams have to spend a week at the bowl site. The only other option is to start the season earlier, and it’s clear that no one is in favor of that especially due to the heat factor. You can’t go later because the season has to end before the spring semester starts.
Going to eight would pretty much be only adding teams that have no shot at winning the championship. Go look at the FCS playoffs, which have 24 teams. A lot of the games are blowouts and at the end you’re pretty much left with the same teams year in and year out. Plus the FCS only plays an 11-game regular season.
Expansion would be all but a death sentence for the bowls. Attendance is already down and more and more players are skipping the games because they don’t want to risk getting hurt before the NFL draft. The more the playoffs grow, the less fans, or anyone else, care about the bowls — which would be worse for the conferences in general.
If people are sick of Alabama being in the playoff now, imagine what it would be like with eight teams. Clemson, Oklahoma have been pretty much staples, and Ohio State would be if it could avoid letdown games. The rich would only get richer because the format would only benefit the teams with the most depth. If anything, this would make it easier for the Crimson Tide.
It would diminish the importance of the regular season. Georgia's not in this year not because it lost to Alabama, although a win would have gotten the Bulldogs in, but it lost to LSU. Expansion would make games like the Purdue win over Ohio State almost irrelevant.
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