College Football and it’s fans have yearned to crown a true champion since the beginning of the sport. In the early/mid 1900’s, many media outlets chose the team that they felt deserved the title the most, and just gave it to them. Most recognized titles were awarded by the AP (Associated Press) or the Coaches Poll.
Between 1936 and 1992, the final top two teams only met 8 times, mostly due to restrictive conference scheduling and bowl affiliations.
Then, the Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton, and Orange Bowls created the Bowl Coalition. They removed their conference affiliate. They did produce 1 vs 2 matchups twice in six years, but they wouldn’t let the Big Ten or PAC 10 participate due to the Rose Bowl Affiliation. To solve the problem, the BCS was created in 1996.
This new system used the Coaches Poll, AP Poll, and six computer rankings to put the #1 team vs the #2 teams in a National Championship Game. Only once in the era was there a split champion (2003, LSU and USC).
But the fans finally got what they wanted in 2015.
The season would end with two semifinal matchups in historic Bowl Games, and a National Championship to cap it all off. This new system was welcomed by fans with open arms, not only because of the 4 team playoff, but because a computer (which doesn’t have eyes) wouldn’t be making a judgement about how teams played.
However, there has been a group of fans, coaches, and athletic directors, calling for the Playoffs to be expanded to 6, 8, or even 16 teams. What do I think about this?
Expansion isn’t necessary. Four is necessary.
The thing is, most seasons there aren’t more than four teams that are good enough to compete for a championship. Last year, three were. 2019, two (maybe Oklahoma if you stretch it). 2018, four. 2017, two. 2016… you get my point.
If the playoffs expand, sure teams like Wisconsin, Oregon, Penn State, and Georgia would make a few extra dollars, but for the integrity of the sport, the Playoff needs to stay at four teams. It works best now, and should in the future.
Photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP