“They can’t even find four deserving teams now.”
The answer to that statement is: Do you like college football? If the answer is yes, then there’s no reason not to want more college football games. If the answer is no, then thanks for reading, but why are you reading? Expanding to 24 team playoff solidifies that you found the best teams. 53% of NBA teams make the playoffs. 37.5% of NFL teams make the playoffs. 51% of NHL teams make the playoffs. .03% of College Football teams make the playoffs. That’s a lousy system knowing that playoff games are what sports fans live to see.
Who Makes the Playoffs?
The ten conference champions automatically make the playoffs. The top 8 seed in the playoff gets a bye. The divisions in all conferences get thrown out, and the two best teams play for the conference championship in each conference regardless. After the final week of the season, if a team wins their conference and isn’t ranked in the top 24, then the 24th ranked team will be kicked out of the playoffs if they’re not conference winners. You’ll do that until you have all the conference winners are in the top 24, leaving the playoffs with the other 14 best teams plus the conference winners.
With all ten conferences represented in the playoffs, it brings the belief that this will only result in blowouts. That is incorrect. With how the playoffs would have seeded itself this past season, there would have been excellent first round match-ups that people would have loved to watch.
Notre Dame VS Minnesota
Boise State VS Michigan
Iowa VS Memphis
Cincinnati VS Auburn
It could have very well resulted in some must-see second round match-ups as well
Notre Dame VS OSU
Penn State VS Baylor
Florida VS Wisconsin
Boise State/Michigan VS Clemson
This system will result in blowouts, but it’ll give the teams like UCF in 2017 a chance to prove themselves. Blowouts are part of college football, you could move it from four teams back to only two, and we are still going to see a blowout every 2-3 years in the national championship.
The College Football season will be cut down to 10 games. Alabama won’t be able to play Southern Miss, New Mexico St, and Western Carolina in the same season anymore. They’d still get to play one or two of those games; all of those schools won’t lose out on the paycheck that comes from playing Alabama. Playing bad teams doesn’t only apply to Alabama; they just happened to be my example. For a team to win their conference and win the national championship, they have to play 15 games. This schedule will still only include 15 games and only 14 if you’re a 1-8 seed.
The playoff committee will know the 24 teams that are eligible for the playoffs, but they have to rank them with blind resumes. Someone creates a resume for all 24 teams with every single statistic on it, except the name of any teams. They will rerank all 24 so that all teams get a fair shot. The type of stats that will be on the resume will be defensive efficiencies, offensive efficiencies, the strength of schedule, how good their opponents were, average rankings of opponents in significant categories, etc. The playoff committee will all individually rank each blind resume they are given until all 24 are ranked, and the average ranking will be the seed the team receives in the playoffs. The only reason for the reranking is, for example, if Penn State plays three ranked teams and loses to all three, but Memphis plays two ranked teams and wins both, that Penn State won’t be ranked ahead of Memphis because of their name. It’ll give every team a fair chance to advance as far as they should.
I know when most people discuss expanding the playoffs that they always talk about home games for each higher seed in round 1. That’s completely unrealistic. As a Notre Dame fan, I’ve been to plenty of games in South Bend during November, and I don’t want to be doing that an entire month later. Weather will not permit home games for some of these locations. My solution for all of this is to have four neutral site cities that host rounds 1&2, which will only be four games in each city. The top four seeds can decide which neutral site they go to; top seed chooses first where they are going, second seed chooses, and so worth. Finding a place to practice shouldn’t be an issue for these teams if these cities are prepared. The neutral site games can be rotated through these places: Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Houston, Minnesota, Inglewood, and Glendale.
The New Years 6 Bowls will have Meaning Again.
Ever since the college football playoff started, the only two New Year’s Six bowls to have meaning are the two that serve as playoff games. Let’s change that, make the “great 8” games 4 of the New Year’s Six games, and the “last four” can be the other two New Year’s Six games. Winning the Cotton Bowl to punch a ticket to the National Championship or the “last four” has a lot more meaning then Penn State beating Memphis in a meaningless game.
Having a 24 team Playoff will even out College Football.
Having success in recruiting has a direct correlation with success on the field. This, in turn, results in success on the field which has a direct correlation with signing good recruits. If 24 teams are making the playoffs, then kids can go to any school and have a chance to compete for a national title technically. Most top tier recruits only consider the teams that have been in the playoff conversation a year or two prior.
Now, for example, let’s say Wisconsin goes on a run and makes it to the “last 4” as an eight seed. Now all these kids across the country watched this dark-horse Wisconsin make the “last 4,” and now that kid can consider going to Wisconsin over going to a powerhouse and being buried on the depth chart for years, maybe their entire career. That example can apply to all teams that make the playoffs. All playoff teams will maybe land a recruit or two that the usually wouldn’t have landed because of the success.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
Please, for the love of God, give us a more exciting form of College Football. The one bad loss and your out of the playoffs isn’t all that exciting (except for the 4 hours the loss happens). Then the realization sets in that the best four teams won’t even make the playoffs, resulting in bad playoff games. Alabama could have competed for a title this year in the 24 team system. In the lousy four-team system, they weren’t given a shot because they lost to good teams. Oklahoma would have lost to most teams in the top 15, yet they play in a terrible conference and get rewarding with a playoff berth. That’s a system that needs to be fixed. Please, NCAA, I’ve literally designed the entire new playoff; all you need to do is enforce it.