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LINCOLN — 1-9-1-0. That was Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany’s formula to College Football Playoff success.


Back in 2014 — before the first CFP was held and Ohio State won it — Delany announced his vision for securing the league’s place in the top four teams starting in 2016.

The Big Ten would play nine conference games. Each league team was also to play one Power Five nonconference game if it could and zero games against FCS competition. As for the other “1,” well, that was the Big Ten championship game. One big nonconference tilt. Nine conference games. One conference title game. Zero FCS opponents. 1-9-1-0.

That plan has gone over like a lead balloon: 1-9-1-0 is 0-3.

 

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That's not Delany's fault. The Big Ten is 0-3 for the playoffs because the teams we've sent have laid an absolute egg on the big stage. Better teams, better-prepared, will be more successful.

 

It's not the schedule. It's the coaches, the approaches, and the talent.

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I wondered how long it would be before someone would bring up the fact that for the second straight year the B1G missed out on the playoff.  I read an article last week that pretty much summed up how I've viewed the playoff with regards to college football.  This past weekend, we pretty much had a bunch of games that essentially meant little.  Even if Clemson would have lost, they probably still make the playoff.  Even if Bama loses, they probably still make the playoff.  It was a foregone conclusion that it really didn't matter who won the Pac 12 because the winner wasn't getting into the playoff.  As it turns out, the B1G Championship really didn't matter with regards to the playoff either.  This past weekend would have been perfect for the start of the playoff in an eight team field.  Let's do away with the conference championship games and use that weekend to start the eight team playoff.

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The problem is that conference commissioners are trying to get a formula when there should be one set in place for all...

 

-All conferences play the same amount of conference games

-No FBS teams can schedule FCS opponents 

-There can be no 'independent' football teams - have to be in a conference 

 

3 simple changes that would make a mile of difference 

 

Furthermore, make it possible for a non-P5 team to get into the playoff or let them have their own playoff

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40 minutes ago, knapplc said:

That's not Delany's fault. The Big Ten is 0-3 for the playoffs because the teams we've sent have laid an absolute egg on the big stage. Better teams, better-prepared, will be more successful.

 

It's not the schedule. It's the coaches, the approaches, and the talent.

There's some truth to this. I think my bigger takeaway was the lack of uniformity between conferences. These are the kinds of discussions I don't believe we should be having. We shouldn't have to argue the merits of a nine game conference schedule vs. an eight game schedule, and how/why it benefits one conference or the other.

 

I think it's also silly that the current format causes us to question the important of a conference title game. They seem to matter depending on the narrative.

 

The conference still needs to uphold its end of the bargain, though. tOSU can't get blasted by Purdue. Michigan can't get railroaded by tOSU. Take care of business and the schedule thing isn't a concern.

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The Big Ten Championship isn't very compelling because the Big Ten West champion has been a boring team lately. That game is only a springboard to the playoff if the winner is a good team and beats a good team. 

 

How do you impress the playoff committee by beating Northwestern?

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2 minutes ago, knapplc said:

The Big Ten Championship isn't very compelling because the Big Ten West champion has been a boring team lately. That game is only a springboard to the playoff if the winner is a good team and beats a good team. 

 

How do you impress the playoff committee by beating Northwestern?

 

How do you impress the playoff committee by beating 7-5 unranked Pitt?  You don't, and it has nothing to do with Clemson being in the playoff.  For the most part, the ACC Championship game was absolutely meaningless.  If the playoff committee has been anything, they've been consistent.  It matters little whether you win your conference or not.  The only way you're getting into the playoff is if you have one loss or less.  Some experts are saying the committee got it wrong by leaving Georgia out of the playoff.  Apparently, these same experts have been asleep the last few years.  Georgia had no chance once they secured their second loss. 

 

Rather than watching a bunch of meaningless conference championship games this past weekend, I would have rather watched Bama vs. UCF; Clemson vs. Michigan; Notre Dame vs. Ohio State; and Georgia vs. OU. 

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28 minutes ago, junior4949 said:

How do you impress the playoff committee by beating 7-5 unranked Pitt

 

You don't need to if you've gone undefeated in a P5 conference.

 

28 minutes ago, junior4949 said:

Rather than watching a bunch of meaningless conference championship games this past weekend, I would have rather watched Bama vs. UCF; Clemson vs. Michigan; Notre Dame vs. Ohio State; and Georgia vs. OU.  

 

Agreed, but too often there's a tied record.  Let's say Ohio State and Northwestern both go 8-1 in conference. Who do you declare your winner?  We really need every conference to have a championship game, and an 8-game playoff that takes all the G5 winners, plus three wildcards.

 

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34 minutes ago, knapplc said:

 

You don't need to if you've gone undefeated in a P5 conference.

 

 

Agreed, but too often there's a tied record.  Let's say Ohio State and Northwestern both go 8-1 in conference. Who do you declare your winner?  We really need every conference to have a championship game, and an 8-game playoff that takes all the G5 winners, plus three wildcards.

 

 

Does the bolded really matter?  It really isn't any different than before the B1G even had a championship game.  One of Iowa's claimed B1G titles was a year when their conference record was the same as Ohio State's even though Ohio State won the NC.  Currently, we have conferences that don't have the same amount of teams.  Heck, we even have one playoff qualifier that doesn't belong to a conference.  Given those parameters, it seems completely doing away with the conference championship game would be best.  The playoff committee already ranks the teams.  Make the conference title game week the first round of the playoffs.  The Big 12 even having a conference championship game seems ridiculous considering every teams plays one another during the season.  If the playoff committee isn't going to reward or penalize a team based on a conference championship game, why even play them? 

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This is Nebraska's fault.  If we smack down the West teams and play in Indy, either we go, or a team beating us will go.  We need to do our part to make the B1G better.  That is why they brought us in.  The people in charge of Nebraska have let us down.  Let's hope we now have the people in place to make this happen!

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28 minutes ago, junior4949 said:

Does the bolded really matter

 

Yes, because:

 

1 hour ago, knapplc said:

We really need every conference to have a championship game, and an 8-game playoff that takes all the G5 winners, plus three wildcards. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Crusader Husker said:

This is Nebraska's fault.  If we smack down the West teams and play in Indy, either we go, or a team beating us will go.  We need to do our part to make the B1G better.  That is why they brought us in.  The people in charge of Nebraska have let us down.  Let's hope we now have the people in place to make this happen!

 

On the bolded, under the current format?  Not so fast.  Last year, Wisconsin smacked down the West teams and played in Indy.  Guess what?  Neither them nor the team that beat them made it into the playoff.  Considering the most recent teams the B1G has brought into the conference, I'm not sure one could argue it was to make the conference better.  We were brought in for the same reason at Rutgers and Maryland. 

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3 minutes ago, junior4949 said:

 

On the bolded, under the current format?  Not so fast.  Last year, Wisconsin smacked down the West teams and played in Indy.  Guess what?  Neither them nor the team that beat them made it into the playoff.  Considering the most recent teams the B1G has brought into the conference, I'm not sure one could argue it was to make the conference better.  We were brought in for the same reason at Rutgers and Maryland. 

I was being a little "tongue in cheek" with the comment.

 

I guess I am looking at an average year.  OSU had a non-con loss last year.  The problem this year was also OSU didn't take care of business.  They did nothing to deserve to go.  Got smacked by Purdue, Maryland, should have beat them.  We could have beat them.  Minnesota had the lead , PSU had the lead late, Indiana was close at half.  OSU was looked unfocused in most of their games.  I am talking in a normal year.

 

 

 

The formula should be:

Play no true non-con road games, play 8 conference games with balanced crossovers, and play a FCS game late.  Formula works nicely for the $EC.  If we want in, we need to play by the rules that the teams that get in do.  

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7 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Yes, because:

It appears one of you is dealing in hypotheticals (8-team playoff with auto-qualfiers) whereas @junior4949 is dealing in the current system. So, yes, a conference champ matters in an auto-qualifying scenario. It doesn't matter as much right now.

 

They really only matter right now if the totality of the season turns the CCG into a play-in game and that's been inconsistent to this point. This is where the article comes into play because two conferences currently face less risk (on paper) in their path to the CFP. Teams are being judged on inconsistent criteria.

 

The committee's current slogan should basically be "it doesn't matter unless it matters." The CFP needs to expand and allow for AQ's if the CCG's are to matter as much again.

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Hopefully they figured it out by 2021 when Nebraska is... wait, we'll be undefeated so it doesn't matter. I don't care what they do.

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18 hours ago, Enhance said:

It appears one of you is dealing in hypotheticals (8-team playoff with auto-qualfiers) whereas @junior4949 is dealing in the current system. So, yes, a conference champ matters in an auto-qualifying scenario. It doesn't matter as much right now.

 

They really only matter right now if the totality of the season turns the CCG into a play-in game and that's been inconsistent to this point. This is where the article comes into play because two conferences currently face less risk (on paper) in their path to the CFP. Teams are being judged on inconsistent criteria.

 

The committee's current slogan should basically be "it doesn't matter unless it matters." The CFP needs to expand and allow for AQ's if the CCG's are to matter as much again.

 

At the end of the day, they're going to do what they're going to do.  However, there is a bit of a problem with auto-qualifiers.  It has long been told that the reason it took so long to even get a playoff was because D1 didn't want to diminish the regular season.  If we had auto-qualifiers this year, 10-3 Washington would be in the playoff.  They lost to 7-5 Auburn in the regular season.  Auburn finished 5th in the SEC West.  By putting Washington in the playoff, I would think it would greatly diminish the regular season.  Another reason it took so long to get a playoff was because of the extra games.  By playing a conference title game and then having an eight team playoff, there would be more games for a couple of teams. 

 

I have no doubt that going to an eight team playoff will be fought tooth and toenail by the Power 5 Commissioners unless there are auto-qualifiers.  Yet, they're still going to have to have a committee that picks the three at-large teams.  The exact same committee that has in the past chose teams in the current four team playoff that didn't even win their conference.  I've long thought an eight team playoff was the best and doing away with conference championship games.  However, I just don't we're going to see it because of butthurt Power 5 Commissioners.  It appears that an eight team playoff is still quite a ways off.

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It needs to be made so that you have to win your conference. Every conference plays the same number of conference games, or give weight to the conferences that play more conference games (playing more non-con P5 teams would work also).  This would force ND to join a conference. IF, there is a champ that shouldn't get in, i.e. Washington this year, they are left out. If there is more than one undeserving team, then the next best team gets in. What constitutes undeserving would need to be ironed out.  

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15 hours ago, jager said:

It needs to be made so that you have to win your conference. Every conference plays the same number of conference games, or give weight to the conferences that play more conference games (playing more non-con P5 teams would work also).  This would force ND to join a conference. IF, there is a champ that shouldn't get in, i.e. Washington this year, they are left out. If there is more than one undeserving team, then the next best team gets in. What constitutes undeserving would need to be ironed out.  

 

I've been saying the same for awhile. Here is my idea how to have a true national champion

 

Put all teams in the power 5 and 3 other conferences giving a total of 8 conferences. That would put 16 with some having 17 teams in the conference. Each conference will have 2 divisions. Each team will play their 7 division teams, 2 cross division teams and 3 ooc games. Then the first round of the play offs would be the conference championships.

 

With that formula the final four teams would only play 1 more game than they do right now. It would also give every team like UCF currently and Boise State previously a fair shot, where they would never get it in the current system. It wouldn't take away from conference play as it would matter to get to the conference championship. The teams that don't make the 16 team field and those that lost in the first round would then play in bowl games like we have currently. It would also force teams such as Notre Dame to join a conference.

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21 hours ago, junior4949 said:

However, there is a bit of a problem with auto-qualifiers.  It has long been told that the reason it took so long to even get a playoff was because D1 didn't want to diminish the regular season.  If we had auto-qualifiers this year, 10-3 Washington would be in the playoff.  They lost to 7-5 Auburn in the regular season.  Auburn finished 5th in the SEC West.  By putting Washington in the playoff, I would think it would greatly diminish the regular season.  Another reason it took so long to get a playoff was because of the extra games.  By playing a conference title game and then having an eight team playoff, there would be more games for a couple of teams. 

 

I have no doubt that going to an eight team playoff will be fought tooth and toenail by the Power 5 Commissioners unless there are auto-qualifiers.  Yet, they're still going to have to have a committee that picks the three at-large teams.  The exact same committee that has in the past chose teams in the current four team playoff that didn't even win their conference.  I've long thought an eight team playoff was the best and doing away with conference championship games.  However, I just don't we're going to see it because of butthurt Power 5 Commissioners.  It appears that an eight team playoff is still quite a ways off.

A few thoughts on what you've posted here:

 

First, I used to have a bit of an issue with AQ's (i.e. Wisconsin in 2012 who 'won the conference' at 7-5). But, I think any expanded system is going to lend itself to imperfection. The benefits or optics of a conference champion automatically qualifying outweigh the negative possibilities in most scenarios, in my opinion.

 

Second, I think you're right about still needing a committee to pick the other three teams. Sounds like the prevailing popular opinion is five P5 AQ's, one non-P5 conference champion, and two at-large bids. The three teams being chosen by the 'eye test' are an easier pill to swallow than all four teams for a lot of people.

 

Lastly, as for the P5 commissioners, do we know they're against expansion without AQ's? Just curious - I haven't looked much into it. I think we would both agree expansion would likely include AQ's but, hypothetically saying it doesn't, most conferences wouldn't have much to worry about. The only P5 conference that wouldn't have been represented this year is the PAC 12. In 2017, every P5 conference would've been represented.

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On 12/3/2018 at 9:38 PM, Moiraine said:

Hopefully they figured it out by 2021 when Nebraska is... wait, we'll be undefeated so it doesn't matter. I don't care what they do.

 

And we'll have a win against Oklahoma under our belt...so right there, they'd have to take us for the playoff. 

 

It's the law.

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4 hours ago, Enhance said:

A few thoughts on what you've posted here:

 

First, I used to have a bit of an issue with AQ's (i.e. Wisconsin in 2012 who 'won the conference' at 7-5). But, I think any expanded system is going to lend itself to imperfection. The benefits or optics of a conference champion automatically qualifying outweigh the negative possibilities in most scenarios, in my opinion.

 

Second, I think you're right about still needing a committee to pick the other three teams. Sounds like the prevailing popular opinion is five P5 AQ's, one non-P5 conference champion, and two at-large bids. The three teams being chosen by the 'eye test' are an easier pill to swallow than all four teams for a lot of people.

 

Lastly, as for the P5 commissioners, do we know they're against expansion without AQ's? Just curious - I haven't looked much into it. I think we would both agree expansion would likely include AQ's but, hypothetically saying it doesn't, most conferences wouldn't have much to worry about. The only P5 conference that wouldn't have been represented this year is the PAC 12. In 2017, every P5 conference would've been represented.

 

I've long wanted an 8-team playoff but, as you said, there needs to be some specification about who is eligible.  Something like you have to be in the Top 10/12 as a conference champion to auto-qualify and in a non-Power 5 conference champion is in the Top 10/12 they automatically qualify as well.  Also, no more than two per conference.

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1 minute ago, Mavric said:

I've long wanted an 8-team playoff but, as you said, there needs to be some specification about who is eligible.  Something like you have to be in the Top 10/12 as a conference champion to auto-qualify and in a non-Power 5 conference champion is in the Top 10/12 they automatically qualify as well.  Also, no more than two per conference.

I think that's an intriguing idea. The whole '7-5 Wisconsin' thing has always been stuck in my jaw, even as I type this out, but a ranking requirement tossed in there would help.

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Just now, Enhance said:

I think that's an intriguing idea. The whole '7-5 Wisconsin' thing has always been stuck in my jaw, even as I type this out, but a ranking requirement tossed in there would help.

 

Top 12 would probably be acceptable and lead to a little less crying if there was a fringe team.  If a conference champion was #11 and the rule was Top 10, they would probably cry pretty hard because I'm sure there would be arguments that they're better than one or two of the teams ahead of them.  But if they are #13 that's a pretty good indication they really don't deserve to be in the 8-team playoff.

 

This year it would be:

#1-Alabama vs. #8-Washington

#4-Oklahoma vs. #5-Georgia

 

#2-Clemson vs. #7 UCF

#3-Notre Dame vs. #6-Ohio State

 

Michigan (#7 in the CFP Rankings) is the team that gets "left out" in favor of the auto-qualifying teams (UCF & Washington) behind them.

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43 minutes ago, Mavric said:

Michigan (#7 in the CFP Rankings) is the team that gets "left out" in favor of the auto-qualifying teams (UCF & Washington) behind them.

Nice write up. I'd be OK with that outcome and not even as a non-Michigan fan. Everybody knew the path the to the CFP ran through Columbus and they didn't get it done.

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46 minutes ago, Mavric said:

 

Top 12 would probably be acceptable and lead to a little less crying if there was a fringe team.  If a conference champion was #11 and the rule was Top 10, they would probably cry pretty hard because I'm sure there would be arguments that they're better than one or two of the teams ahead of them.  But if they are #13 that's a pretty good indication they really don't deserve to be in the 8-team playoff.

 

This year it would be:

#1-Alabama vs. #8-Washington

#4-Oklahoma vs. #5-Georgia

 

#2-Clemson vs. #7 UCF

#3-Notre Dame vs. #6-Ohio State

 

Michigan (#7 in the CFP Rankings) is the team that gets "left out" in favor of the auto-qualifying teams (UCF & Washington) behind them.

 

Bama-Washington would probably be a dud, but I'd watch the s#!t out of those other games

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1 hour ago, Enhance said:

Nice write up. I'd be OK with that outcome and not even as a non-Michigan fan. Everybody knew the path the to the CFP ran through Columbus and they didn't get it done.

 

Yep, Michigan had a very good season.  They lost the first game of the year and the last game of the year to teams that would be in my playoff.

 

That being said, they had their chance - on the field - to earn their way in.  Win either one and they are more than likely in the playoff.  But they didn't.  So they're out.

 

I suspect that would almost always be the case with the first couple teams "left out".  If I have some time tonight I might go back and look at the last few years.

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Washington really didn't have a very good season.  They lost three games all at the hands of teams that finished unranked.  The only team they beat that finished ranked was Utah.  Yet, we're willing to give them a playoff spot because they happened to be the champion of a very weak conference this year?  This is why I have a bit of a problem with this format.  Michigan loses to teams ranked in the top 10.  They stay home.  Washington loses to just about every team they play with a pulse, but they get into the playoff.  If this doesn't diminish the regular season, I don't know what does.  Bama vs. Washington in the first round would pretty much just be giving Bama a bye.

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5 minutes ago, junior4949 said:

Washington really didn't have a very good season.  They lost three games all at the hands of teams that finished unranked.  The only team they beat that finished ranked was Utah.  Yet, we're willing to give them a playoff spot because they happened to be the champion of a very weak conference this year?  This is why I have a bit of a problem with this format.  Michigan loses to teams ranked in the top 10.  They stay home.  Washington loses to just about every team they play with a pulse, but they get into the playoff.  If this doesn't diminish the regular season, I don't know what does.  Bama vs. Washington in the first round would pretty much just be giving Bama a bye.

 

I agree with you that conference champs should not automatically qualify, and that Washington was not all that special this year (mediocre conference and three bad losses), but they did beat Wazoo, who finished 13th, and they beat Utah twice, which is difficult to do.

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On 12/3/2018 at 12:11 PM, BIG ERN said:

The problem is that conference commissioners are trying to get a formula when there should be one set in place for all...

 

-All conferences play the same amount of conference games

-No FBS teams can schedule FCS opponents 

-There can be no 'independent' football teams - have to be in a conference 

 

3 simple changes that would make a mile of difference 

 

Furthermore, make it possible for a non-P5 team to get into the playoff or let them have their own playoff

There is a much easier solution.  Add a week and make the playoffs 6 or 8 teams.  Its basically the BCS in a playoff format.

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:19 AM, onlyHskrfaninIL said:

There is a much easier solution.  Add a week and make the playoffs 6 or 8 teams.  Its basically the BCS in a playoff format.

The system is the obvious issue. A one-loss power conference champ missing the playoffs should never happen. Can not believe we are still at 4 teams.

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10 hours ago, mrandyk said:

The system is the obvious issue. A one-loss power conference champ missing the playoffs should never happen. Can not believe we are still at 4 teams.

 

The bolded happened because two P5 conference champs were undefeated along with Notre Dame.  I've always been for an 8 team playoff.  However when we get down to the rat killing, I'd rather see a one loss champ miss the playoffs than see a three loss champ who played in an excessively weak conference make the playoffs.  When one considers why it took so long to get a playoff (too many games, diminish regular season, etc.), I think we're stuck with the current system and four team playoff for quite a bit longer.

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On 12/10/2018 at 9:59 AM, junior4949 said:

The bolded happened because two P5 conference champs were undefeated along with Notre Dame.  I've always been for an 8 team playoff.  However when we get down to the rat killing, I'd rather see a one loss champ miss the playoffs than see a three loss champ who played in an excessively weak conference make the playoffs.  When one considers why it took so long to get a playoff (too many games, diminish regular season, etc.), I think we're stuck with the current system and four team playoff for quite a bit longer.

To play Devil's Advocate a bit, the teams that likely would've made the playoff this year in an eight team system would be (1-5 are the P5 champs, 6-7 are the at-large bids, and 8 is the non-P5 champ):

 

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Oklahoma

4. Ohio State

5. Washington

6. Notre Dame

7. Georgia

8. UCF

 

I don't have much of a problem with that at all. The only really good team being left out is Michigan. To their credit, their only losses came to two CFP contenders, but they were in complete control of their destiny almost all year and didn't get it done. It would largely be their fault if they missed out on the CFP in this scenario.

 

We all agree any system is going to be flawed and there's probably going to be at least one team every year that got goofed over. But, the aforementioned hypothetical is a much easier pill to swallow than what we have this year and satiates a ton of griping IMO.

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Just to argue with you Enhance. Michigan wold be more deserving than Georgia. Both of their losses came from CFP teams in your scenario, while Georgia had a loss to a lower ranked team. 

To be open, I'm not a fan of expanding the playoffs. The more who get in water it down and lessen the importance of the regular schedule. I'm one of the very few who actually like the old bowl system. It made each bowl more meaningful and gave you regional rivals.

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40 minutes ago, jager said:

Just to argue with you Enhance. Michigan wold be more deserving than Georgia. Both of their losses came from CFP teams in your scenario, while Georgia had a loss to a lower ranked team. 

That would certainly be a point of debate, however I built my hypothetical scenario off the final CFP rankings that had Georgia ranked higher than Michigan. Either way, I think the overall point holds true - both of those teams dropped the ball and had their fate out of their hands. The hypothetical result would be far more appetizing.

 

To your other point, I sometimes look back fondly on the bowl system too, but I'm glad it no longer holds the same weight. If college football had been started this year, we wouldn't have built the bowl structure. We would've built it like almost every single major sport in this country with a playoff. Bowls are an archaic system that fit the needs of their era.

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Speaking of eras, we're entering a new one.  We have players who are opting out of bowl games in order to prepare for the NFL draft.  We had a player who quit the team after getting an injury to prepare for the NFL draft.  In the past few years, college players are getting a bit more vocal about how the money is allocated.  If we extend the season by keeping conference championship games and then going to an eight team playoff, it might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  A few years ago, there was a RB that was encouraged to not even play his junior year of college because the shelf life of a RB in the pros is short.  I have a feeling this will be revisited in the near future.  I never thought I'd see the day where a coach of an amateur sport is paid more than a coach of the same professional support.  Times are a changing, and I believe asking these players to do even more for their schools will cause the breaking point.

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Perhaps. You don't see many (if any) elite NFL prospects opting to forgo the CFP. Playing for a national championship and the exposure on that level is far more lucrative to a college athlete than the Gator or Insight Bowl. Furthermore, an eight team playoff only increases the potential number of games by one to a possibility of 15 if you're including the CCG. That's the exact number of games the NDSU Bison have played every year given their routine presence in the national title game.

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