The Final Four: College football’s saving grace

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This years national champion will be decided by a playoff for the first time in history.

Tim Moran, Staff Writer

It’s the end of November in America and the race for the College Football Playoff is heating up. As fans and teams gear up for the home stretch, the excitement builds around the country. However, in just its first year, the format for the playoff is already being questioned. Many think that the 4-team postseason is too small, and needs to be expanded to 8 or 16 teams. However, this is not the case because a larger pool would allow undeserving teams into the postseason and create a logistical nightmare.

Increasing the playoff field would reduce excitement, since teams of a lower caliber would be allowed. It was only last year that every single game mattered and more than one loss would seal a team’s fate as a non-championship team. This year, it is very possible that two loss teams make the playoff, and with the possibility of 16 teams advancing in the near future, that number is certain to move to three losses. Although eight teams may keep that number at two losses, it still allows unworthy teams to participate. The bottom line is that allowing only four teams into the playoff keeps competitiveness and desire to win at a premium.

A larger playoff creates a bubble. If six teams in power conferences are sitting at 10-2 and are in the running for the last three spots, three will be left out, recreating the controversy of the BCS era. Arguments and anger would arise around the country and lead to dissatisfied fans. Sixteen teams in a playoff would expand this unrest. Keeping the number at four allows for a few close decisions, based on typical records of the top five or six teams. A four team playoff is a simpler and more enjoyable system than and eight or sixteen team playoff.

Lastly, another negative to increasing the number of playoff teams is that it is cause for certain logistical problems. If eight teams were to be allowed in, the number of championship elimination games would be four. If the NCAA wants to keep the end of the college football season in early January, that would mean fewer primetime games.The NCAA playoffs would compete with the NFL playoffs, NHL and NBA regular season games going on, ratings and interest in each particular game would drop. If sixteen teams advanced to the playoff, there would be so many important elimination games that fans would find it almost impossible to watch and keep interest in all games. Overall, allowing eight or more teams into the college football playoff creates a cluttered schedule in January that would be hard to follow.

The amount of teams in the College Football Playoff should be kept at four games because it keeps game competitive, allows for only the most consistent teams to make it in, and allows for an enjoyable, noncontroversial bowl season. A four team playoff is the best solution to determine the unquestioned best team in the nation.