Final College Football Blog- We Need An 8-Team Playoff


Playoff Should Expand To Eight Teams

The College Football Playoff Committee deliberated on Saturday and seeded their Top 4 teams for this year’s version of the playoff.

Their job was pathetically easy.

Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma were the overwhelmingly simplistic choices for the playoff.

The CFPC wasn’t wrong, those are the four most deserving teams.

Are they the best four teams?  

Not based on talent.  Ohio State has a better roster than any of the four that made the tournament.  Florida State has an argument as well, although they wouldn’t be in our eight-team playoff.

Why can’t we expand to eight teams?

More of a good thing is….a good thing.

Imagine adding Stanford, Ohio State, Iowa and Florida State or Notre Dame or even Houston to the mix? The committee could seed those teams however they see fit and we’d have another round of really intriguing match-ups.  For the teams that get left out, there wouldn’t be an argument (although we know their fan bases would argue).

You could add the top Group of Five team to the playoff and give them an automatic berth to give the playoff a “Cinderella” type of feel.  If we took the numbers simply from the final CFP standings (and we’re aware that they would change if it were an eight-team playoff), we’d have match-ups of Clemson-Notre Dame (re-match), Alabama-Ohio State (Part II), Michigan State-Stanford (better than a Rose Bowl) and Oklahoma-Iowa.

Clemson vs. Notre Dame would be a fantastic rematch of a game that was played in Death Valley in a torrential rainstorm.  The loss by Notre Dame probably raised their value more than any of their wins (because they had only one Top 25 win).  Could the Irish get them the second time around?

Alabama vs. Ohio State would be an amazing setting, especially if we played the entire first round at home destinations.  The people of Tuscaloosa would potentially get their revenge against the team that derailed last season for them.  Urban Meyer would have to have his team play a legitimate non-conference road game, something he hasn’t had to do in a long time.

Michigan State vs. Stanford would be a throwback to hardcore, grind it out football featuring two pro-style offenses, two of the best coaches in college football and potentially some snow (not sure if the Stanford players have ever experienced it).

Oklahoma vs. Iowa is intriguing because Oklahoma is seemingly playing their best football right now and possibly the best of anyone in the nation.  Iowa had a major chip on their collective shoulders after coming into the Big Ten Championship Game undefeated, yet being underdogs (and rightfully so).  This would give Iowa another chance at a legitimate victory and they’d be able to hang around.

Who wouldn’t want to see those match-ups, or others like them?

The current four-team playoff format is a certain improvement over the old BCS system.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Henry Will Take Home The Heisman

What wasn’t a very intriguing Heisman Trophy race finished with an absolute bang as each of the top three candidates not only put up outstanding efforts in their championship games, but all willed their teams to victory.

Alabama running back Derrick Henry was the overwhelming favorite entering Saturday’s action and he didn’t do anything in the SEC title game to lose the award.  Henry capped his record-setting season with 189 yards rushing and a touchdown in the team’s 29-15 victory over Florida.  Henry finished the season with 200+ yards rushing in his final six games and set a new SEC rushing record.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffery made an intriguing case for the award as he capped a record-breaking season with a 41-22 victory over USC in the Pac-12 title game.  McCaffery ran for over 200 yards with a touchdown, caught four passes for 105 yards and another touchdown, and even threw for a score.  McCaffery broke Barry Sanders single-season record for most all-purpose yards as he finished with 3,496, more than 200 more than Sanders in 1988.

“To my left here is the best player in the nation,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said after the game. “I don’t know if that’s even a question. There’s nobody in the nation doing what he’s been doing. It’s not even a debate.”

Finally, Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson led his Tigers to the only undefeated season in the FBS, and did so in spectacular fashion.  Watson threw for three touchdowns and ran for another two in Clemson’s 45-37 victory over North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game.  Watson’s 420 total yards and five touchdowns set a new ACC title game record.

“I feel like I’m one of the best in the country because of the players I have (on the team) with me and the coaches on this staff,” Watson said.

“If you sit down and watch our 13 games, he’s the best player in the country — and there is no doubt about it,” Swinney said. “This guy beats you not just with his legs, but his arm, his mind, his heart, his guts and his toughness. He’s a great champion.”

All three players finished extremely strong and they will all receive invites to New York for the Heisman ceremony.

Although any of the three players are more than deserving, the most outstanding player in the country is likely Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, who didn’t get to play in a championship game.  Cook averaged an amazing 7.9 yards per carry this season with 18 rushing touchdowns.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.