The College Football Playoff Committee had a pretty easy job when they announced the top four teams. It was obvious to everyone that LSU, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma would be involved in some way. The only argument was – who gets the #1 seed. I believe they got the order right. Some – Tommy Nuggets – may cry about this for a while. However, LSU was the clear #1 team in the nation.
Obviously, everyone would love a much larger playoff picture. I decided to take a look at what games we could have if the playoff field were to expand.
To keep things consistent, I used the latest CFP rankings to determine seeding:
Six Team Playoff
A six team playoff looks pretty nice. The top two seeds are rewarded with a bye in the opening round. Every Power 5 conference champion gets in, plus one at large team – Georgia. The one thing I do not like about this is that we could see another LSU-Georgia game.
If Georgia and Oregon were to swap places – this would be the ultimate playoff bracket for me. We would avoid another SEC rematch possibility until the championship game.
As it stands with the current format, teams can play an additional two games. This bracket sets up the possibility of a team playing three postseason games.
Eight Team Playoff
I like the opening round games we get in this bracket. Wisconsin comes in as a solid #8 seed, we would see if LSU is the real deal or if the Big 10 is legit. Clemson would get their first true test of the season against #6 Oregon. Ohio State would likely steamroll #7 Baylor to show how weak the Big 12 was this year.
Twelve Team Playoff
This is where things start to look messy. You have the possibility of teams playing an additional four postseason games with this bracket. We are also looking at a number of possible rematches – with Oregon and Utah immediately playing back-to-back games in the opening round. Georgia would play Auburn for a second time this season. Penn State would set up to play Ohio State again with a win – Florida would have a rematch against LSU with a win.
I would LOVE to watch a playoff like this, but many of the games are looking redundant.
For this to work they would need to have the ability to flex the seeding to avoid conference rematches in the opening round. If we swapped Auburn and Utah – we could get a rematch between Oregon and Auburn, along with an interesting Georgia and Utah game.
Sixteen Team Playoff
We get all of the same opening round games that we would get from the twelve team playoff. Rather than awarding a first round bye to the top four seeds, they would play against the 13th-16th ranked teams in the opening round.
This would buy us an interesting game with #13 Alabama against #4 Oklahoma – a game the Crimson Tide would likely win. #15 Notre Dame at #2 Ohio State would give us a classing matchup in the opening round.
The nice thing about this is, if you focus in on Oklahoma – they would have to prove they are for real against SEC competition before making it to the semifinal.
Thirty-Two Team Playoff
This is ridiculous. The two teams in the national championship would play five postseason games.
As it stands this season – I think the best playoff format would be a six team playoff. You include all of the Power 5 conference champions and one at large team. You also have an opportunity to reward the two best teams with a first round bye.
As we expand the playoff the games get a little redundant – the regular season would lose too much meaning if you make this thing too big.
What do you think the playoff should look like? Are you happy with the four team format, or would you prefer to expand this thing?