It’s obvious that the College Football Playoff will need to expand one day. Air Force head football coach Troy Calhoun agrees. Not only does Calhoun agree with expansion, he thinks the NCAA needs to take it one step further. The NCAA currently reserves one spot for a Group of 5 school to play in one of the six major college football bowl games. Here’s where Calhoun’s tweak to the system would come into play. The Air Force Coach proposes that the NCAA should host a playoff between the four best Group of 5 schools to determine who gets that spot.
Having a playoff before the College Football Playoff seems to be a little far-fetched, but Calhoun is on to something here. A Group of 5 playoff would certainly make college football more exciting during the middle of December. The Games would be good and also add a little excitement to a dormant December where college football games are spread out sporadically. Several other college football coaches like the idea, but have some reservations about the new playoff as well. The main concern would be extending the college football season by two more games for at least on school and one more game for the other three schools. While there is time to accomplish the new playoff in December, some coaches will feel that there’s too much going on between game prep, finals, and the new recruiting signing period to focus on another playoff.
The whole “that’s too many games for players to play” argument is actually a rather weak argument when you consider the other NCAA football divisions. FCS and NCAA Division II football plays a 24 team playoff while the NCAA Division III football plays a 32 team format. An extra playoff or and expanded College Football Playoff can be done. The issue is more money related than anything else. NCAA officials along with bowl committee officials fear that expanding the playoffs would cause college bowl games to lose out on some good match-ups. In a way, that’s true. But the NCAA could easily incorporate more bowl games into a playoff expansion.
Group of 5 schools are usually left out of scenarios because they just don’t bring in the money like the Power 5 schools can. The Group of 5 schools need more respect though. It seems as if the NCAA only sees those schools as “fillers” to bigger school’s schedules and for TV time slots. If they would attempt to do more for the Group of 5 schools, that could enhance those programs as a whole and provide even more college football excitement.
Besides the major bowl games, many of the other college football bowl games are becoming very boring. Especially as more Power 5 schools with a 6-6 or 5-7 record are playing in the college football post-season. That’s another slap in the face to Group of 5 schools. Basically what the NCAA is saying is that it’s not feasible to expand the college football playoff, but it’s perfectly fine to add more bowl games. The NCAA knows that bowl games (regardless of records) creates more revenue, but the revenue off of a playoff expansion is uncharted territory.
Troy Calhoun is right though. The NCAA needs to do something when it comes to the Group of 5 schools. I personally think that a 16 team college football playoff format is the best way to go and would be the fairest and most satisfying way to determine the college football national champion.