As many people know, college football has recently revealed plans to increase the number of playoff teams from 4 to 12. This change will take effect in the year 2026 and the decision has been subject to a lot of different opinions. Some people believe that keeping the number of teams at 4 prevents teams undeserving of a playoff spot from competing just to get blown out. Others believe that the change will allow teams who previously missed the cut because of one bad game to be given the chance to redeem themselves.
I personally believe the change will bring a new dimension to college football it had been lacking previously. Adding an extra 8 teams could make for absolutely insane matchups and games that had never been seen before. My favorite example would be the 2017 UCF Golden Knights.
They ended as the 6th seed and played 10th seeded Auburn, a college football blue-blood. Many people were expecting the group of 5 juggernauts to finally meet their demise to a well-rounded SEC powerhouse in Auburn. Then the impossible happened. UCF went out there and put on a show in an incredible game and paved the way for a group of 5 teams to make some noise after defeating Auburn.
Allowing the expansion to 12 teams will enable teams like that UCF team to shock the world and bring new fans to college football. The 4 team playoff in my opinion has been something that really only allows for uninteresting outcomes, the same teams make it every year and the games become stale quickly. Since the induction of the 4 team playoff, only 13 different teams have made an appearance. Only 13 teams, out of a possible 32, doesn’t create enough variety.
The novelty of College Basketball is the famous March Madness and the upsets that come with it. The 64-team bracket has made for some insane games and no two games feel the same. Anything can happen because of the amount of variety the bracket brings. The college football playoff implementing a much smaller version of this could give the playoff the chance to make for some wild upsets.
College football has needed a new dimension and making playoff football more worth watching is precisely what they need. Teams like Alabama and Georgia will still make the playoffs easily, but adding 8 new teams will force the blue-bloods to have to go through a tougher gauntlet to call themselves champs once more.
The extended playoff allows for teams that never once had a shot to prove their worth on a national stage. Teams like Auburn, Florida, and others find themselves just outside the top 4 every year. With the extension it allows those teams to tear down juggernauts and prove their abilities.
Think of the Matt Corral lead Ole Miss team last year, they were 10-2 heading into the final bowl game and were one of the most electric offenses in the sport. Think of Pittsburgh who was led by Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison. Just last year there were a number of teams that could have given Georgia or Alabama a legitimate run for their money.