The Ohio State University Buckeyes took on the University of Oregon Ducks in a very historic game on January 12.
It was historic not for the fact that the state of Alabama did not have a representative playing, nor did the Southeastern Conference; but for the first time in the history of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision there was a playoff to decide who would play for the national championship.
For years, people hated the computers that decided the rankings for the Bowl Championship Series, citing the fact that you were allowed to play “powder-puff” teams week after week, or come from a conference that was not one of the ‘power-five’; and were still able to play in a major bowl, or for a national title.
Now, a 13-member committee takes the place of computers to try and find not the two best teams in the land, but the top four.
The new College Football Playoff is not the FBS’s savior that many wanted, though. Long before the committee started publishing rankings in week 10, many were crying for the playoff to be expanded to 6, 8 or even 10 teams.
Casual sports fans and hardcore collegiate sports enthusiasts were asking the question: What if the committee got it wrong? If there were more teams in the playoff, there is higher chance the right team has the chance raise the championship trophy in a sea of confetti, signaling the end of the college football season. After TCU’s massacre of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl, can you blame them for asking?
It seemed that most sports-opinion makers could not fathom how a playoff in collage football could work. It was almost like they were all saying, “Sure, there is the Division I basketball tournament, and all of the different professional sports have playoffs; but none of those are college football!”
It seemed like they were blind to the fact that the Football Championship Subdivision, the FBS’s brother subdivision in Division I and the subdivision that JSU competes in, has had a playoff for years.
The FCS has a 24-team playoff that allows the top eight teams to have a first round bye week. The FBS could expand to a more competitive system too.
Adding two teams to the FBS playoff system would allow the top two teams to have a first round bye and still have two rounds, while adding four would allow eight teams to play in a three round bracket.
Adding six teams, bringing the playoff to 10 teams, would keep both the first round bye for the top two teams and a three round playoff.
When the contract expires I doubt we will lose the playoff system, but I would be surprised if it were not expanded.