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Are Four Teams Enough for the CFP?

NCAA

Zach Meister, Nick Leloia, Sports Editor, News Editor

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Yes

By: Zach Meister

    The College Football Playoff was a needed change to the sport and already can be seen as a successful move. However, while this short tournament is nowhere near as close in size to college basketball’s March Madness, which features 68 teams, it is important to remember that the two sports are completely different. Basketball players are physically able to handle such a large tournament, but football is such a rigorous and exhausting sport on the body that a large tournament would be too much physically on the players.

    Beyond the human barrier of being unable to play too many games, four teams would also be better to suit the college football landscape.There are 5 power conferences in college football, but the talent in each conference differs in each year, and often times there are no worthy playoff teams in the conference. The PAC 12 would serve as an example for this year, as their most notable contender, Washington, only has one out of conference power 5 win, and that happens to be against the ferocious Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, who are still winless in the B1G 10. While the Huskies have built up wins due to the weak PAC 12, they do not have the quality wins that should earn a playoff spot. If 8 playoff spots were granted teams like Washington would likely get in just because they won their very weak conference.

    Senior Brandon Belen agrees with this mindset, as he says, “Four teams just sounds more appealing to me. I think it’s just because the teams would all be qualified and the games would be closer.”

    A larger playoff would also significantly detract from the value of the individual games. The college football postseason has traditionally been built around individual bowl games and these games have built up a significant following and tradition in the college football landscape. For instance, the Rose Bowl is one of the most illustrious destinations for B1G 10 and PAC 12 teams and making it there was a prestigious achievement. Making a whole playoff would eliminate how special the Rose Bowl would be, as if it was not the championship destination that year, it would just be another game before the finals.

    The College Football Playoff committee has done a great job so far of selecting the teams for the four team playoff, and there should be no worry that they will proceed to do so in the future. The four team playoff is the smartest and most logical postseason for college football and it should remain a staple for years to come.

No

By: Nick Leloia

    The College Football playoff is supposed to be comprised of the four best teams in the country, as picked by a selection committee, who will then play in a tournament for the national championship. While having a playoff is a significant step up from the BCS era, having 4 teams in the playoff isn’t putting college football in its best position for success.

   Historically, the 4 best teams in the country have been the best teams in their respective conferences. However, one of the power 5 conferences will inherently be left out, due to the lack of spots in the playoff. Furthermore, if an independent such as Notre Dame, or a mid major such as Houston, is deemed worthy of a spot in the playoffs then 2 power conferences could potentially be left out.

    The solution here is an 8 team playoff. This way, the winner of each power conference would get an automatic bid to the playoff, with the 3 remaining spots—or 2 if the committee decides they want to reward the highest ranked mid major with a playoff bid—being at large bids.

    In addition to including all 5 of the generally equal power conferences and a mid major, adding more teams to the playoff would increase interest in the sport. By making the playoffs hold 8 teams, a quarterfinal round could be added, which could potentially be played as home games for the higher seeded teams, before the winners advance to neutral site games for the semifinals and national championship.

    The added interest in the sport would ultimately generate what everyone cares about the most. Revenue. Whether you like it or not money makes the world go round, and adding 4 more teams and an extra week to the college football playoff would result in a significant increase in revenue for the schools, the conferences, and the NCAA.

    “I think there should be 6 teams in the playoffs because there are too many big time conferences that are being left out”, said West Morris senior Erin Rubright when asked about the number of teams in the playoffs.

   In the very first year of the playoffs, the 4th seed won the championship. When the bracket was announced, there were clamors that there were teams more deserving to be in the fourth slot than Ohio State. What’s to say that TCU or Baylor couldn’t have won the championship that year. 6 or 8 teams would be the ideal number, because if the field were to expand to 12 teams, which would be the next step, the season becomes too long and in reality, the number 12 team doesn’t have much of a chance of beating number 1, but number 8 sure does.

    The 4 team college football playoff format isn’t a problem, but it could be better. Don’t be surprised if the NCAA soon realizes this, and a couple of years from now the field is expanded.

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Are Four Teams Enough for the CFP?