College Football Playoff Expansion, but How Far to Expand

College football is one of the most presitgious amateur sports which possesses one of the largest fan bases of 37+ million fans,who either follow, watch or attend games during the course of the season. The problem with college football is in how they determine their national championship and how long it takes to start the process. The BCS system in (1998) was dependent on a computerized system to determine the best two (2) CFB programs and this process lasted too long. By the (2014) college football season, a new playoff format was being implemented due to the disgust from fans and media that the 2-team playoff was not right and there was a need for expansion. The next expansion for a college football playoff format was to expand to 4-teams, which was and is the next logical move. However, eventhough the CFP4 system is still in its infancy stages, there are a few primary issues with this CFP4 system.

A. The delayed start of the college football playoff does not start until New Year’s Weekend or day. Yes, the delayed start allows for injuries to heal and academic finals to be taken. However, the delayed start takes away form any momentum teams had at the end fo November or beginning of December. Its very hard to maintain performance standards when you stop playing for 25+ days. This type of delayed start is bad for the sport, fans and players. This is like telling the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament to start 3-weeks after the field of 68 are announced.

B. The next factor that effects the CFP4 is the validation and credibility of the selction committee members and the power brokers who control the process of selection and seeding. The committee members themselves should possess no direct relationship to the process and have no need to excuse themselves from the process. All thoughts and ideas, either good or bad, need to be heard from all committee members with no vested interest towards the final process. Time to select a committee that has possesses no external influences, vested interests and adheres to the selection process.

c. The most interesting factor that effects the CFP4 is that the protocol in the selection process changes year to year and that the power brokers and primary power broker; Mr. Bill Hancock; should have no influence or conference affiliation to the process. The selection process needs to be crystal clear and adhered to at the end of the final discussion without waverying from the process to accommodate those conferences with in which they are affiliated with either as alumni or have represented. Let’s call this the Hancock Process and the relationship with the Southeastern Confernence.

D. The most interesting factor that effects the CFP4 is that all FBS programs do not have just and equal opportunity to compete for the multi-million dollars on the table at a minimum of $50+ Million, the gold statue and the notoriety and prestige of being called “National Champion”. There have been several FBS programs during the BCS system and CFP system in which earned 0-loss or 1-loss final season records and have been left out of the playoff format. This has occured on both sides of the label/classification aisle of BCS/Power 5 Conference or Non-BCS/Group of Five Conferences. This suggests a time for expansion for the college football playoff to either eight (8) or sixteen (16) FBS programs.

These are just a few arguments against the CFP4 system and there are more.

Now that we have watched a a few seasons of the CFP4 playoffs, there is more controversy being disucssed to the disdain of how the CFP4 is being executed by the process and protocol. As this college football season concluded days ago and the National Championship Game in Atlanta possessed two FBS programs from the same conference, the media and fans would like to see expansion of the playoff in the future to the next phase of eight (8) FBS members. There have been many media member such as; Joel Klatt, Nick Wright and Danny Kannel, all three are sports media members from FOX Sports. All three (3) I believe were employed at one time in the past by ESPN.

I have reviewed, read and or listened to all three of their ideas of expanding the college football playoff to eight (8) FBS programs. All of which have posted their ideas/thoughts via the FOX Sports Facbook webpage. All three (3) ideas are similar in design and style. Each of these sports media members suggest taking each conference championship winner from each of the Power Five Conferences, and three (3) at large bids with one of those at-large bids being reserved for one (1) Group of Five Conference member. One of the three (3) media members, I believe it was Nick Wright that made one adjustment to the eight-team playoff theory pertaining to the three (3) at-large bids. He believes that you only invite a Group of Five Conference programs, if and only if, that G5 program ends the season at 0-losses or basically un-defeated.

What Nick Wright is asking of any of the (65) G5 FBS programs, student atheltes and coaching staff is an elitist, perfectionist and euphoric type situtation, that any blemish, loss, close loss or close win by any G5 FBS program automatically eliminates them from the playoff format. The next arguement against Nick Wright’s idea is if any G5 FBS program does complete the season with 0-loss, he will argue that their schedule strength was to weak or did not schedule a or a couple of quality opponnents to be considered for his eight (8) team playoff. There is always some form of scrutiny that the G5 FBS programs must succumb to be be viable and or credible enough to considered for a playoff spot.

What these three (3) sports media members do not realize, this includes a large group of media members and college football fans across the United States, is that there are rules, bylaws and laws in place that protects the G5 programs. I think the next step for a college football playoff format would be to jump to 16 teams. However. logic dictates that eight (8) is the next step. If an eight-team CFB playoff format is the next phase, then that phase needs to be implemented soon. Once the eight-team CFB Playoff is implemented, then the G5 FBS Conferences and Programs MUST have representation no matter if that G5 FBS program is the only 1-loss or 0-loss G5 program left. The G5 group of coaches, student athletes, and administration have more than earned the right to compete for the title of National Champion, the money that comes along with it, in addition to the notoriety and prestige; It’s time to break the “good ole boys network” either by process or legal action.

There is already published, copywritten and well researched material that supports that college football at the FBS level, can support and inplement a 16-team playoff format. This 16-team playoff does not extend the season any further than it does now and stays within the written bylaws of starting the college football season. The time is now to start the discussion and full presentation of an expanded playoff format to the college presidents, administrators, athletic directors, and coaches. I am available for presentaion.

If you plan on using any of my ideas, thoughts or rankings to discuss publically in print, web based media postings or on air debates either in television or radio; please adhere to the APA/MLA policies and procedures when citing sources.

The book “College Football In The BCS Era The Untold Truth Facts Evidence and Solution” (Siggelow, 2016) is available at Lulu.com for 20% OFF. The link below should get direct to the page.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/matthew-j-siggelow/college-football-in-the-bcs-era-the-untold-truth-facts-evidence-and-solution/paperback/product-22978392.html

 

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