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8 Team College Football Playoff

College Football

8 Team College Football Playoff: Conference Champion Model

Handing out some automatic bids.

We have long been proponents of the 8 team College Football Playoff. Time to bang the drum again as the 2017 season approaches.

No championship at all was blah. Two teams was meh. Four teams is better. Eight teams seems like the perfect amount of College Football Playoff teams.

In this new exercise, we designed a new bracket that gives different conferences an opportunity. It makes conference championships important, but creates a way for others to get in if they don’t win their conference. This bracket also gives the Group of Five schools a piece of the pie, albeit a small one.

8 Team College Football Playoff: Format

The five champions of Power Five conferences all get automatic bids. Next, the Group of Five conference champion with the highest ranking gets a bid. Finally, the two highest-ranked non-champions in the CFP poll qualify. From there, the eight participants would seed according to their College Football Playoff ranking.

8 Team College Football Playoff: 2016 Example

In 2016, such an 8 team College Football Playoff field would have looked like this:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)
2. Clemson Tigers (ACC)
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (at-large)
4. Washington Huskies (Pac-12)
5. Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten)
6. Michigan Wolverines (at-large)
7. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12)
8. Western Michigan Broncos (GO5)

This is the bracket that results:

8 Team College Football Playoff 2016

Ohio State-Michigan as a first-round playoff game? You can sign some people up for that one right now. In the other matchups, it’s Alabama-Western Michigan, Clemson-Oklahoma, and Washington-Penn State. There’s not a bad game in the lot, except that Western Michigan probably would have gotten housed. At least in this system, the Group of Five gets a guaranteed seat at the table.

8 Team College Football Playoff: 2017

All we have right now is an AP preseason poll that will, most likely, be discredited by the end of September. Work with what you’ve got, I always say. Assuming the AP poll were the CFP poll, we’d start the season with a prospective seed list of this:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)
3. Florida State Seminoles (ACC)
4. USC Trojans (Pac-12)
5. Clemson Tigers (at-large)
6. Penn State Nittany Lions (at-large)
7. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12)
8. South Florida Bulls (GO5)

8 Team College Football Playoff 2017

Again, you can almost feel bad for the Group of Five team Alabama is going to violate. This is still a ranked team they’re playing, by the way. All the other contests look entertaining, and they set up some excellent second-round games as well. For example, you could get an Alabama-USC or Alabama-Clemson rematch. Further, Ohio State might see Penn State or FSU. Not a bad game in the lot.

8 Team College Football Playoff: One Game Too Many?

If the eight-team playoff doesn’t happen, it just might be due to too many games. Take Alabama, for example. 12 regular season games, the SEC championship game, and then three playoff games if they go all the way. That’s sixteen games total, or an NFL regular season.

There are coaches out there who don’t want their teams playing 14-15 games as it is. Sixteen games might be too much to handle, especially given the added focus on player health and safety. It’s not just potentially overtaxing, but there is still the academic component. This means a longer football season for some, and ostensibly more time out of class. Depending on what you think of some of the schools above, however, it’s debatable.

Money is a key factor, as it always is. If schools and leagues can make cash off the extra playoff round, an 8 team College Football Playoff is on the table. Yet, it’s not that simple. We can sit here from our desks and say what a good idea it is, but politics behind the scenes may prevent it. To us, it’s just more football, but to the teams, it could be much more than that.

For reality, check out the College Football Playoff picture.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 2017 MAC Football Predictions: Who Wins? - The Bracket Yard

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