Expansion of College Football Playoff: A Much-Needed Change

Football, NCAAF, CFB, NFL article at Knup Sports

The College Football Playoff is expanding to eight teams very soon. Here’s what it means for the sport and the impact it will make on the NCAA.

In December of 2022 it was announced that the NCAA College Football Playoff would be expanded to include 12 teams by the 2024 season. This is a major change from the current format, which includes only four teams.

January Madness

College football had always needed something that could be compared to the insanity of the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness tournament. It finally got that when the College Football Playoff was introduced, but including just four teams was a rather curious decision.

College football is one of the most profitable industries in the country. Teams all over the nation are backed by rabid fanbases. For it to feature a championship tournament with only three total games is still underwhelming, even today after we’ve witnessed many riveting games.

The move to an expanded playoff field was much-needed, as now the tournament will likely become more competitive. In single-game elimination, anything can happen, which means top-seeded programs like Alabama or Georgia will now need to do far more to prove they’re the best teams in the country.

Underdog Mentality

The change also opens the door to teams that are usually relevant, but not quite on Alabama or Georgia’s level, which usually keeps them out of big playoff games. Teams like Penn State, Tennessee, USC or Notre Dame come to mind when thinking about solid programs that just haven’t been able to get over the hump in recent years. Them now having a pathway to a championship completely changes the game.

It’s also important to consider this move from a business standpoint. The NCAA and its schools will now have more games, meaning more money from ticket sales, broadcasting rights, merchandise and so much more. It’s bizarre to think that this change wasn’t made sooner considering the corporate-like way the NCAA is run.

More Contenders, More Upsets

There are sure to be critics, though. Many argue that an expansion of the playoff won’t actually make things more competitive, as the top teams will still find ways to avoid upsets as they typically do during the regular season. I strongly disagree with this belief. Anything can happen on any given Saturday, and under the pressure of a playoff game, things are even more prone to go wrong for even the most dominant programs. There are sure to be upsets just as there are in college hoops.

Some also say that expanding the format won’t eliminate the controversy that usually surrounds the lowest seed. I agree with this, as there will always be those who believe a different team deserved the last spot in the tournament. However, I just don’t see what’s wrong with adding more teams. With more contenders in play there’s more unbelievable games with heart-stopping finishes waiting to happen.

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