Poll - How many teams should there be in the College Football playoff?

  • Four teams
  • Eight teams
  • Twelve teams

0 voters

I am limiting the choices to the three which have been discussed by the NCAA.

I still say that the more teams you let into the playoffs the less important the regular season is and that right now the college football season is important. Still, I guess I can see an argument for the fifth through the eight best teams having a shot at winning a playoff. I don’t see nine or below having a shot.

I like the 8.
All 5 power conference champions (side note, I am actually impressed that the Big 12 kept the league together, and may have actually strengthened it). 3 at large with at least one having to come from outside of the Power 5.

Here is one caveat which I would add. If a Power 5 team which otherwise would not have qualified for the playoffs makes it by virtue of winning its conference championship, that conference forfeits the position of another one of its members which otherwise would have qualified for the playoff.

For example, and I will make this one that you like, as usual the Big Ten East is stacked while the Big Ten West is weaker. Ohio State finishes number one in the nation and wins the East. Nebraska finishes out of the top ten but wins the West. Nebraska then upsets Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game and wins the Big Ten. Ohio State falls from number one to number four while Nebraska is still ranked outside of the top eight. Since Nebraska, which otherwise would not have qualified for the playoff, makes it because it defeated Ohio State, the Big Ten forfeits Ohio State’s position.

Or, for an alternative, Ohio State finishes number one while Michigan finishes number two. Ohio State then loses to Nebraska as described, but both Ohio State and Michigan are still in the top five. The Big Ten forfeits the position of the lower ranked of these two teams in the playoff.

That paragraph both makes complete sense and simultaneously demonstrates how convoluted college FB is.

I have said before that with college football there is no perfect system. You can find a problem with any scenario. I tend to favor focusing on the rank of the team only without considering whether the team won the conference championship. That will do the most to ensure that the best teams actually make the playoff, which I believe should be the intent.

I also think the NCAA should enact a rule similar to this for college basketball. Right now with the conference tournaments where every conference team qualifies regardless as to how poorly it did, it is possible that a team that had a poor season can win the conference tournament and get into the NCAA tournament by virtue of that automatic bid. Since all teams that do well in the regular season will make the NCAA tournament, they don’t really care whether they win the conference tournament or if a less worthy team wins it and gets the automatic bid. The conferences might look at it differently if they knew that a more worthy team would be excluded as a result of this.

I was trying to find a way to say what you just said.
Well done.
I also have a problem using “polls” since they are very subjective.
You could put a rule in that only two teams from any conference.

I do know a lot of high ranked teams really don’t care much about their conference tournaments.

I have said before that when you have a season that starts with a bunch of “pre-season tournaments” and non-conference games, followed by conference games with some non-conference games mixed-in, followed by conference tournaments where every team qualifies, followed by a national tournament where sixty-eight teams get in, everything before the national tournament is pretty much meaningless. No “bubble team” that misses the NCAA playoff has any real shot at winning it anyways.

But the coach misses out on a bonus.

Your Big10 example demonstrates why I question whether the fact that a team won a conference championship has any meaning. I think those games were added as a revenue raiser and I think the season record is more meaningful. I voted for 8 because while I expect that teams will always complain about missing the playoffs for whatever reason. Despite my dislike of Notre Dame, they may have had a valid complaint this season. Also, I suggest that any FBS team that goes undefeated during the season, whether conference or independent, be automatically included in the 8.

I do not think conferences should have any constraints on the number from any conference, but that those teams chosen be chosen based on their records and season play.

Yep. And if an unworthy team wins its conference championship and gets in and a “bubble team” from another conference gets bumped as a result, that team’s coach misses out on his bonus.

And yet…


I have said before that I think that if a conference wants to have a conference championship game, it should ditch the divisional format and go to a system like the Big Ten had earlier, where teams play two or three teams every year and other games are rotated. Then, have the number one and number two teams play for the championship, as the Big Twelve does now. Of course the problem with this scenario is that there is no reward for finishing number one. The conference could change it to have the number one seed host the game, but I doubt they would do that for the revenue reasons that you mentioned.

I actually think it will eventually go the other direction.
I think we will end up with 4 16 team “superconferences”, each with 4 4 team divisions.
Each conference has a 2 round championship series, each champion goes to the playoff, and then either a 6 team or 8 team playoff. I prefer a 6 team (you didn’t have that as an option) with two wild cards, one has to be an FBS school.

If the objective is to determine the best team, the current system seems to work pretty good. Start expanding it and you end up with college basketball which seems to never end. Most years the top 4 in the polls definitely includes the best two. Pretty efficient.

6 teams could be a possibility. Seed 3 plays 6, the 4 and 5 seeds play each other and 1 and 2 get a bye.

That part would essentially be the same as I suggested before scheduling-wise, with three annual opponents fixed and the others rotated.

That would make for a five-week playoff, which I guess would work with the current time frame. Still, it would be odd to see some of the playoff games played before some of the worthless piddly bowl games. Like I said, though, with college football no system will be perfect.


I am not advocating for what I said, but I believe that is the way it is going. I think it makes it too much like the NFL.
I actually pine for the old days of Conference Bowl alignments so Husker and Wolverine fans can argue over who won the National Title in 1998.

Update: Surprise! Surprise! They still can’t agree on anything.

Maybe they need to bring in Joe Manchin.