CineSport—The 4-team playoff format has been set for NCAA football, but will it expand in the future?
CineSport's Noah Coslov and Sporting News' Will Leitch discuss this and potential committee members.
Oklahoma State fans rejoice! Your wish has come true, the BCS is no more…starting in the 2014 season anyway.
Many of the details have not been determined, but this is what we know:
There will be two semi-final games, then a championship game, with all three games being played at bowl sites.
The four teams will be decided by a selection committee similar to the college basketball selection committee.
Fans are still going to complain.
Let’s face it, nothing in sports will make every team or every fan happy, and a college football playoff won’t do anything to buck that trend.
What if, hypothetically, the #1 team in the nation is undeniably the top team? In years when this is the case, the next three or four teams are typically close in record and strength of schedule. Not only will the selection committee have to determine which of the top-five teams doesn’t make the playoff, they will have to determine who will play this “unbeatable” team in the first round.
It’s different in college basketball when the committee can just throw in schools as 16th seeds for the sole purpose of getting eaten alive by the top teams. With only four teams involved, the stakes are much higher.
Myriad circumstances may occur which could cause problems for the selection committee:
What if the winner of the Big-12 is less impressive than the loser of the SEC championship game?
What if the top four teams are all from the same conference?
What if a team from Conference-USA goes undefeated?
Expansion isn’t just inevitable, it’s vital. The BCS was flawed and had to go. This is a huge step in the right direction, but there is still work that needs to be done. Eventually expanding to eight or 16 teams in a playoff is what the sport needs, and that is likely what will ultimately happen.
There will always be teams on the cusp of whatever line is drawn, but the gap will be far tighter between the fourth and fifth-ranked teams than the 16th and 17th-ranked teams.
Just wait until the selection committee selects four SEC teams (Cue Nick Saban and Les Miles maniacal laughter). Will we be clamoring for the resurgence of the BCS? Only time will tell.