Thursday, January 21, 2021

It’s time to reform college football qualifiers – but how should it develop?

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Tuesday’s latest round of college football playoff standings created the same talking point among those following the most mercurial playoffs in organized sports.

Cincinnati, one of eight unbeaten FBS teams, has sort of lost another spot in the penultimate standings, despite an 8-0 absence this season. Three two-game losing teams sit ahead of the Bearcats, including a Florida team that lost just one spot after a dismal loss for a historically bad LSU team.

Growing dissatisfaction with the college football playoff selection committee process – which apparently follows no internal logic on a weekly basis – has only worsened in 2020. Perhaps the COVID pandemic -19 exacerbated this after drastically reducing the data pool the committee can work with. That doesn’t change the fact that he clearly doesn’t value talented teams who are unlucky enough to play outside of the Power 5.

MORE: Update the college football qualifying standings

Mike DeCourcy, of Sporting News, said this about the playoffs on Dec. 2, when Cincinnati was still seventh nationally and appeared to have a chance to participate in the Playoffs:

“The CFP must be known strictly by its acronym”, DeCourcy said. “Forget what the letters stand for, because they’re a misnomer. It’s not really a playoff series. It’s an invitation.”

It seems inevitable that at some point the Playoffs will widen. And, while this may offend those who prefer the traditional exclusivity of the sport, it is becoming increasingly evident that the representation of the Group of 5 must be considered if – when – the playoffs develop. And, if the 5-Team Group is to generate automatic bids for the Playoffs, it makes sense that each of the Power 5 Conference champions have the same consideration.

What better way to make sure every game stays important in one of the best regular seasons in organized sports?

With that, Sporting News takes a look at some of the ways the expansion could take place to turn the college football playoffs into a true playoff series, including mock matches from each of the past three seasons:

College football qualifying extensions

– Seeds based on the final CFP ranking, then on the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll rankings, if available, for a given season; unranked teams ranked by general record, then conference record.

– The teams in bold indicate the automatic qualifications P5 / G5.

Six-team college football playoffs

Participants: Power 5 Automatic Qualifiers, Top Ranked Independent Team / Group of 5
Format: The first two seeds are goodbye; Seeds n ° 3/4 respectively host n ° 6/5 on campus

This might be the most viable option for those who believe that four teams is all you need to determine the best team in the country. It preserves the unique exclusivity of college football while ensuring that every Power 5 champion and only the best team in the group of 5 make the playoffs. The gaps include scenarios in which independent teams such as Notre Dame exclude the Group of 5. It also leaves no room for high-profile talented teams to compete. And what is the advantage of this bye in the first round?

2019

1. LSU
2. Ohio state
3. Clemson
4. Oklahoma
5. Oregon
6. Memphis

2018

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Our Lady
4. Oklahoma
5. Ohio state
6. Washington

2017

1. Clemson
2. Oklahoma
3. Georgia
4. Ohio state
5. USC
6. UCF

MORE: There is 0.0 chance that the CFP committee will let the Bearcats into their club

Eight-team college football playoffs

Participants: Power 5 automatic qualifiers, top-ranked group of 5, two at-larges
Format: Top four seeds host quarter-finals on campus before advancing to semi-finals

This scenario allows the Power 5 automatic qualifiers and the top-ranked Group of 5 champion to win auctions while retaining room for two deserving at-larges. Even within the Group of 5, however, there is a degree of separation between the haves and have-nots: AAC or Mountain West would likely win the Group of 5 candidacy most seasons, recreating the current college football debate in the past. within the Group of 5. There’s also the argument that there won’t be eight championship-caliber teams in most seasons.

2019

1. LSU
2. Ohio state
3. Clemson
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Oregon
7. Baylor
8. Memphis

2018

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Ohio state
seven. UCF
8. Washington

2017

1. Clemson
2. Oklahoma
3. Georgia
4. Alabama
5. Ohio state
6. Wisconsin
seven. USC
8. UCF

MORE: Eight college football playoff scenarios for 2020 Conference Championship weekend

12-team college football playoffs

Participants: 10 automatic qualifiers of Power 5, group of 5 conferences; two general offers
Format: The first four seeds are goodbye; seeds of 5-8 organize games on campus; Seeds 1-4 welcome corresponding winners to campus in quarter-finals before advancing to semi-finals

This scenario allows each of the 10 FBS Conference Champions to make the playoffs, ensuring that each team has an equal shot to make the playoffs at the start of the season. The 12-team expansion creates the need for first-round byes (this is not uncommon; just watching the FCS and NFL playoffs), but also keeps the field as small as possible while still allowing for at-large. The downsides include the potentially disproportionate advantage of having a first-round bye; others might argue that places occupied by G5 champions who cannot realistically fight for the national title should be allocated to more talented Power 5 teams.

2019

1. LSU
2. Ohio state
3. Clemson
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Oregon
7. Baylor
8. Memphis
9. Boise State
ten. Application state
11. FAU
12. Miami (Ohio)

2018

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Ohio state
seven. UCF
8. Washington
9. Fresno State
ten. Application state
11. UAB
12. Northern Illinois

2017

1. Clemson
2. Oklahoma
3. Georgia
4. Alabama
5. Ohio state
6. Wisconsin
seven. USC
8. UCF
9. Boise State
ten. Troy
11. FAU
12. Toledo

MORE: Should the Group of 5 create their own four-team college football qualifiers?

16-team college football playoffs

Participants: 10 automatic qualifiers of Power 5, group of 5 conferences; six general offers
Format: Top eight seeds host first round games on campus; top-ranked first-round winners host quarter-finals on campus; the highest ranked quarterfinal winner chooses the preferred semi-final venue.

A 16-team playoff should be the last viable option if the enlargement continues beyond six, eight or twelve teams. This has the best of the previous expansion scenarios: every conference champion gets a chance, six at-large non-champions can make the playoffs, and there is no need for first-round byes. Some of the first-round clashes are also quite intriguing: 2019 has No. 6 Oregon in a Pac-12 champion rematch against No. 11 Utah; 2018 has No.6 Ohio State versus No.11 LSU and (former quarterback Joe Burrow); 2017 has two Big Ten-Pac-12 and Auburn-Miami clashes.

It is precisely the volume that might put off college football fans. Not all teams, especially those in the Group of 5, can win the national title. The same can be said for all Power 5 / Independent teams except a handful. It also somewhat reduces the need to win the conference championship, with so many seats available.

The question then becomes: does every team deserve a playoff chance, similar to the NCAA tournament, or do you avoid the middleman and place only the most likely contenders? And, if it’s the former, what does it do to the bowling season, a unique facet of college football? All the questions that should be addressed. As it stands, however, its clear expansion, with some form of consideration for Group 5, is the logical next step for college football.

2019

1. LSU
2. Ohio state
3. Clemson
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Oregon
7. Baylor
8. Wisconsin
9. Florida
10. State of Penn
11. Utah
12. Memphis
13. Boise State
14. Application state
15. FAU
16. Miami (Ohio)

2018

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Oklahoma
5. Georgia
6. Ohio state
7. Michigan
8. UCF
9. Washington
10. Florida
11. LSU
12. Penn State
13. Fresno State
14. Application state
15. UAB
16. Northern Illinois

2017

1. Clemson
2. Oklahoma
3. Georgia
4. Alabama
5. Ohio state
6. Wisconsin
7. Auburn
8. USC
9. Penn State
10. Miami
11. Washington
12. UCF
13. Boise State
14. Troy
15. FAU
16. Toledo



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