While we’re still a few months from the college football season, I found myself thinking about the playoff this morning. While the 4 team playoff they implemented 2 seasons ago is a start, I think it still needs to expand more and I think the magic number is 16. A 16 team playoff to me just makes sense. Currently there are 10 conferences in the football bowl subdivision: American Athletic Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Southeastern Conference, and Sun Belt Conference. There are also 3 Independent school who currently have no conference affiliation, and those are Army, Notre Dame, and BYU. To level the playing field I think these teams will need to join a conference to be eligible for the playoff.
So with 10 conferences, that means there would be 10 automatic bids given to each conference champion leaving 6 spots for at-large bids of teams that are the top 6 in the rankings but who did not win their conference. I also think no conference should be allowed more than 2 teams. Currently the 4 team playoff rotates sites each year with this years sites being the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and the National Championship being in Tampa, FL. With my the 16 team playoff the idea will be the same, with the 2 semifinal games being at 3 major sites rotating each year. The difference would be the first 2 rounds, the higher seed in each matchup would get to host the game at their home stadium. This would gives fans a chance to see their team in another meaningful game, as well as help the school bring in some more revenue. I think this idea only makes sense, and I hope the NCAA realizes this and further expands the field to 16.
Here is, hypothetically, what the bracket could have looked like if it were 16 teams this past season.
- 1. Clemson vs 16. TCU
- 8. Navy vs 9. Western Kentucky
- 4. Oklahoma vs 13. Iowa
- 5. Stanford vs 12. Arkansas State
- 2. Alabama vs 15. Florida St
- 7. Houston vs 10. Bowling Green
- 3. Michigan St vs 14. Ohio State
- 6. Notre Dame vs 11. San Diego State
I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this would be an amazing playoff to watch and I hope this is a possibility in the future.