Should College Football Expand the Playoff System

It took so long to get a four-team college football playoff instituted in the game that it's fair to ask: Why change it already?

Of course, some teams that were just on the edge of making the four-team playoff – such as TCU and Baylor in 2014 and Stanford in 2015 – might not feel the same way. And fans probably wouldn't say no to more college football playoff games.

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There are two sides to the college football playoff story. Here are short versions of those:

Bigger, better playoff: Were the playoff to expand to six or eight teams, each of the major conferences would be guaranteed a representative in the event. As it stands, even if five teams finished undefeated – unlikely but theoretically possible – only four of those teams would qualify for the playoff. How would that be fair? Addtionally, FCS and Division II teams take part in larger playoffs than four teams and do just fine with it. If those schools are able to navigate around final exams and holidays and the start of a new semester, then FBS schools should be able to do it, too. As it stands, the CFP relies on a committee to parse the differences between the fourth and fifth-best teams. That can be a distinct challenge. Why not open it up to eight or more?

The playoff is just the right size: Coaches have already made it clear, that the amount of time and effort asked of players is right at the max. By the time the title game has been played, the champion will have usually played 15 games, which is akin to hundreds of car crashes in pads. What one or two more games might do the human body of a 20-year-old – who isn't getting paid a salary – could be scary and unfair. What's more, if the playoff expands, the exclusivity of it changes, and it begins to make fans believe they can expect playoff berths from their favorite programs each year. Is that right or fair? Probably not. Four teams is just right, in that it almost never leaves out an undefeated team, but it also won't be bloated with two-loss teams that probably don't belong.