Expanding the College Football Playoff

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You Heard It Here Last


Expanding the College Football Playoff

You Heard It Here Last

In college football last season (2017-2018), despite going undefeated and beating a few quality teams, the UCF Knights didn’t get a chance to vie for college football’s ultimate prize: a national championship.

The Knights were left out of the College Football Playoff (CFP) in favor of an Alabama team who hadn’t even reached their conference championship. Alabama went on to beat the top seeded Clemson Tigers before beating their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival Georgia for the National Championship.

Many in and around the Knights’ program felt they’d been unfairly overlooked and this sentiment grew exponentially when UCF beat Auburn, who’d beaten both Georgia and Alabama, and didn’t get into the playoff because they had two losses (one of which was to Georgia in the SEC Championship, a game that Alabama didn’t even make it to.)

Some of the Knights’ supporters made a vain attempt to contest the National Championship, even going so far as to sell merchandise claiming the title of National Champions. And while Alabama was likely a better overall team, as were the other teams that did get into the CFP, the Knights will always have to wonder what could’ve been had they been in the (CFP).

Again this season, UCF went undefeated in the regular season. However, their team looked weaker and ultimately narrowly lost their bowl game to the Louisiana State University Tigers 40-32. However, the fact that they were left out last year simply because they play in a weaker conference is an absolute tragedy. I think the CFP committee needs to do something about it.

For the committee, it’d be as simple as adding two to four teams and starting the CFP a week earlier (which wouldn’t conflict with schedules, since bowl games would’ve already started.) And while it’s unlikely that a team like UCF would win, I’d argue that simply being in the CFP and having a chance to compete for a championship would be more than enough to satisfy most fanbases.

I understand the Committee wants CFP teams to be special; they don’t want December to turn into the football version of March Madness. But to me, increasing the CFP to either six or eight teams is an absolute no brainer. More teams get to vie for a championship, more revenue will be generated from the additional week of playoff games and ultimately, we’ll have less opportunity to debate whether or not a certain team had a shot to win it all and deserved to be in the playoff.

Tyler Dean is a senior studying finance and math.