Is a 4 Team Playoff the Answer?

Sean Powers ’15

With the all the controversy coming from the current BCS system, fans and teams alike are excited for the new and upcoming playoff system that will be implemented next season. Currently only the top 2 teams in the final BCS ranking have the opportunity to compete for the national championship. Next year that number will change to 4, which would be helpful in ending a lot of debate that has been occurring this year.

The 4 team playoff is light years ahead of the BCS in solving the national championship controversy every year but is not the fix that will last for decades to come. The 4 teams selected to go to this playoff will not necessarily be the top four teams in the country, but rather the teams will be picked by a committee of college football “experts”. These experts will be left with the decision to pick these 4 teams but 4 teams are not enough. As this season shows, an argument could be made for at least 6 teams that could and should have the opportunity to play for the championship.

The college football directors should step back and take a look at two different and successful playoff systems currently used today in the United States.The college basketball tournament is known for its thrilling games, underdog wins, and most importantly the money it makes from the number of viewers. Although a 68 team college football bracket could never be a possibility, the fact that every conference champion from a division 1 conference makes the playoffs is what directors should be paying attention too. Another possibility that remains unexplored is a tournament with every conference champion from the 5 major division 1 conferences (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, PAC 12).

A playoff like the NFL is a more reasonably sized tournament for the sport of football but this tournament features 12 teams rather than 4. The NCAA should not limit the playoff to 4 teams because 4 teams just are not enough. If the conference champions go on to play in a playoff with possibly 3 at-large teams then the country could really find out who is the best team in the nation. College football needs a bigger playoff system for the national championship and 4 teams just will not cut it.

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