The four-team College Football Playoff has yet to see one four-team playoff play out, but the calls for an expanded system are already growing louder by the week. The latest to hop on the bandwagon is ACC commissioner John Swofford. Swofford addressed the idea of an eight-team playoff while speaking at a Durham Sports Club meeting Wednesday. Swofford says eight teams in a playoff “would probably be ideal.”
“I don’t think all the controversy’s going to go away,” Swofford said, according to The Herald Sun. “You have four teams that get a chance to play for the national championship, which is twice as many as before, but whoever’s fifth or sixth is not going to be happy. There will be some conferences that won’t have a team in the playoff.”
From the onset of the College Football Playoff format being revealed, it was a guarantee to stir up some controversy. With four spots to fill and five power conferences, at least one power conference was guaranteed to be left out of the playoff. Two conferences could be on the outside looking in if two teams from the same conference managed to grab a playoff spot. The latest College Football Playoff rankings currently include two SEC teams, Alabama and Mississippi State, in the top four. Of course, the rankings are not a projection of how the season will end.
In recent weeks, defending ACC champion and undefeated Florida State has been jumped by a one-loss Oregon and a one-loss Alabama. There are some who suggest Florida State may continue to be in jeopardy of not making the first College Football Playoff even if the Seminoles manage to go 13-0. Florida State’s biggest obstacles, it seems, is a lack of respect for the ACC as a whole and Florida State’s inferior “game control” this season compared to other contenders. It is extremely likely a 13-0 Florida State will be assured one of the four playoff spots at the end of the season, but the national narrative seems to be a little less confident in that idea. One thing is for sure. A 13-0 Florida State would absolutely be a lock for a spot in an eight-team playoff field.
Swofford suggests the reason the playoff is not already at eight teams is due to academics.
“I can tell you why not eight, right now,” Swofford said. “The presidents made the decision as to how far we can go with the playoff, and the bookends are exams in December, and the presidents don’t want football to become a two semester sport. Those concerns are education-based. So I think they’re appropriate.”
You can choose to believe that if you wish, but remember that the FCS, Division 2 and Division 3 all manage to play a full playoff field of more than eight teams just fine.
Are you on board with Swofford and his idea of eight playoff spots being ideal, or would you like to see at leat one year of the four-team format play out first before making any judgement?