By Cory Dillard
The college football playoff is when four of the best teams in the nation battle it out to be crowned the best. It was created in 2014, meaning the idea is relatively new and leaves plenty of room for changes. There has been a lot of criticism, especially this recent year, about potential playoff teams that ended up not making it.
USC (Southern Cal) and Penn State played each other in the highest scoring Rose Bowl game ever. Both quarterbacks showed great resiliency by walking right down the field and scoring just after the opposing team punched it in. This is certainly a prime example of teams that were definitely top contenders for the playoffs.
The playoff should be expanded because teams that barely miss out tend to do very well in the bowl games they eventually play in. The four teams competing for the championship this year were Ohio State, Clemson, Washington, and Alabama. While there are always teams that undoubtedly deserve to be in the top four, such as Clemson and Alabama this year, the teams they play in the semi-finals are more questionable selections.
Clemson dominated Ohio State in the semi-final at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, beating them 31-0. Alabama ran all over Washington, beating them 24-7 in the other semi-final game at the Chick-Fil-a Peach Bowl. The question everyone asked is whether there should have been better competition. Those two bowl games weren’t close at all, and many believe that Penn State, USC, or any other team that were close to making the playoff could have competed well with any of the four teams that did make it.
If there were six teams in the playoffs, there is the potential for much closer games, and therefore a more exciting championship. While an argument could be made that six games would make the players more fatigued if they were to reach the National Championship, I would propose that the six games be much more spread out to give time to rest and prepare.
ESPN staff writer Adam Rittenberg actually wrote about the playoffs being expanded. Rittenberg discussed how there is a major possibility of eight teams competing, but many people think twelve would be the proper amount. However, I think that would be a little excessive, because that would lead to some undeserving teams making the playoffs. On the other hand, those teams that don’t deserve to make it could cause further excitement by upsetting big name teams or maybe even winning it all.
This playoff expansion has been compared to the College Basketball tournament. March Madness started off with just eight teams, and now has 68. There are plenty competitive basketball teams, and even the less skilled teams can cause upsets.
The playoffs are all about teams being hot at the time, which means any school could have the chance to win. There would obviously still need to be the big name teams even if they aren’t playing as well at the moment, because those teams usually come to play for the playoffs.
There is an argument that this expansion would ruin conference championships because they would not matter as much if the two teams playing in it needed to focus on the playoffs. I think this could be solved be inputting another reason to play hard in the conference championships, such as the winner getting home field advantage in the playoffs. If the playoff were to be expanded, I think it would definitely make for more exciting games, and also, I believe, make for a much better National Championship.