The 8 Team College Football Scenario
The College Football Playoff brackets will be unveiled later today, however after Saturday night’s games, an interesting debate began between our staff. What if this year, the field was expanded to eight teams? Before you stop reading, we know IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN – yet.
Someone is going to be left out this season, who could compete with any of the four teams that will be let in. Much like in 2014, when TCU went from #3 to out when the final rankings were released, the committee is unpredictable. They yield the power to shift a championship based off of one simple decision. That is why the ultimate decision to expand the field is in the best interest of all.
In the 2017 scenario, the following matchups would take place:
1. Alabama vs. 8. USC
The team playing better than anyone in the country against the defending champs. This isn’t the same Trojans team whom Alabama trounced in September. This rematch would feature a confident Sam Arnold up for the task to try to dethrone the daunting Bama defensive line.
4. Washington vs. 5. Penn State
The traditional Rose Bowl matchup between the Pac 12 and Big 10 champions goes down in the first round of our playoff. While later today these two teams will likely be fighting for one playoff spot, both are included here. In our system, the higher ranked team hosts the first round game, which gives the Huskies the edge, and the victory here.
3. Clemson vs. 6. Michigan
Dabo Swinney vs. Jim Harbaugh. It doesn’t get any better than that. Harbaugh’s Wolverines have only played two games out of the state of Michigan this season, so a first round visit to Death Valley in what would likely be the nightcap of the first round action is must see TV. The Tigers have not played a defense anywhere near as aggressive as Michigan’s this season, which is why on the road we give them the nod.
2. Ohio State vs. 7. Oklahoma
We have seen this game before too, and as good as Baker Mayfield and company are playing, the outcome is the same. Ohio State at home will make enough plays to wear down the Sooners defense, and J.T Barrett would get his mojo back for the rematch against the Wolverines in the semifinals.
Our Semifinal Matchups: Alabama vs. Washington, Ohio State vs. Michigan
Under this eight team playoff scenario, our four moving on are very similar to the four we expect to get selected today, with Michigan and Clemson (whom we have playing each other) being swapped out. We believe Michigan is a better team than Clemson, which is why we have them in our final four. Bama and Washington go head-to-head in Atlanta, while Ohio State and Michigan play in Glendale. We won’t continue to speculate and project winners for our mythical eight team field, however we believe we made our point. The only way to determine the best team in the country is to expand the playoff to eight teams.
This offers a chance for potentially each of the conference champions from the power five to make it, along with three “wildcard” spots for the next three best. Whether that team is an independent (Notre Dame), a non conference champion (Ohio State), or someone who played one of the toughest schedules in the nation (Oklahoma).