Four teams, that's it. I know it's only the second year and starting small is usually a good idea, but there needs to be more teams in. I mean if Clemson or Washington would have lost this weekend there could have been a scenario where three Big 10 teams were in and one SEC team. I'm not saying "Oh every conference deserves a team so it's fair!", nope, I'm just saying that it would be nice to have more than four teams.. more games.. more opportunities..
So I have some thoughts & ideas, here they are:
1. an 8 team playoff would be the best fit. I mean don't get me wrong, a 10, 12, 20 team playoff would be great but with time constraints it just isn't realistic.
2. Give an automatic bid to each of the Power 5 conferences. SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC & Pac 12 automatically get someone in. Their conference champion would seem like the obvious choice, but then you have the situation like the Big 10 this year and, well it doesn't seem like just being the conference champ is always the best answer. So, do you give it to the conference champion or do you let the selection committee pick the team from each conference? Most of the time it'll be the champ, but at least having the selection committee pick the team would give them some wiggle room if an instance like the current Big 10 or even if they needed to think a little more about a team if, for instance, Washington would have lost to Colorado Friday.
3. Two "wild card" spots. Whatever conference, it could even be two from the same conference. The trick is how to rank them and decide? There is no way to play everyone so it's back to the strength of schedule and records. Unlike the MLB, NFL, NHL, etc. there is no way to play everyone or play people multiple times so these wild card teams would have to be selected similar to the current system. Yeah there is going to be room for error and doubt, but this current system has A LOT of doubt so it can't be worse right?
4. The name for this hasn't come to me yet, so for now we'll call it the ultimate wild card. There will almost always be that Cinderella team that is undefeated with a weaker scheduled or has a strong schedule but isn't in a Power 5 conference. Let's give them a chance to get in. Now I know that Western Michigan is undefeated this year and I know that their shot of beating a Bama or an Ohio State is really small, so even though their record is great they shouldn't be in the playoff. This spot is more geared toward a school like Houston (if they would have performed like they were expected to pre-season). Or what about a Notre Dame/BYU? There has to be a way for these teams to get in if the correct situation presented itself. If it is a year like this year, then this spot just rolls into the third wild card spot, or give Western Michigan a chance if you want! Look at what Cinderella's do in March Madness, heck Coastal Carolina won NCAA Baseball this past year. It can be done.
Each of these games would be a "bowl game" that way your bowls still get their money. I don't know everything about the bowl set-up, but I know there is money there that the bowls don't want to lose and the NCAA/CFP doesn't want to lose, so they'll make it work I'm sure.
There ya have it. My proposal for expanding the College Football Playoff. After this year and the selection committee clearly having no clear way of selecting, I think it is obvious it needs to be expanded and there need to be some rules.
Let the complaining about who is in and bowl game placement begin!