Randy Smith: Time To Expand College Football Playoffs

Monday, December 2, 2019
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

I write about this every year about this time. Expanding the playoffs from the current four team model to six or even eight teams is most definitely needed, but is not likely to happen anytime soon. It took more than a decade to get what we now have in college football and an expansion will take at least that long. There is at least one major fan base that today is wishing for that expansion......Alabama.

The playoffs are five years old and Alabama has been in every single one. The Crimson Tide won two of the first five but after Saturday's 48-45 loss at Auburn 'Bama fans must seek their entertainment elsewhere. The odd thing about the 2019 season is this - even if the playoffs had been expanded to eight teams, Alabama would still not be a lock for the post season tournament.

Based upon the Associated Press poll, which was released yesterday, Alabama is ranked ninth and if you accept my plan for playoff expansion, 'Bama is the first team out. Baylor would play at LSU, Florida would play at Ohio State, Oklahoma would travel to Clemson, and Georgia would host Utah. After the first round, game venues would then switch to neutral sites for the final four. Sound like a good plan? Sure it is but it's simply speculation and a dream of what could be by a true college football fan. 

Think about what we had 25 years ago. Champions were determined by votes from a national panel and were always open for criticism. College football was the only NCAA sport which did not determine a champion on the field of play. The old BCS system was only a little bit better but still, there was something missing. Now at least a 13-member panel chooses and seeds the four best teams in the country. That process is okay but could be so much better with an expanded field.   

As far as the three unbeaten teams remaining in 2019, LSU, Ohio State and Clemson are all expected to still be unbeaten after their league championship games. Picking that fourth team from the list of one loss teams will be tough as it always is, but by next Sunday afternoon we will know for sure. Then fans from the teams that were left out can begin to claim the panel was unfair......except for Alabama. Giving up 94 points in two losses is a real playoff buster. 

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


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