Man, this seems like the end of an era. Or perhaps It’s the beginning of a new one. Either way, for at least a day, we stopped arguing and all got along. That’s because college football playoff expansion is finally here! It’s like Christmas in September!
I’ve lost track of how many years we have complained about the ways in which college football has determined its national champion. From poll voters to BCS Championships (remember those?) to four-team playoffs to not having enough teams invited. On Friday afternoon, we finally got some peace of mind. That’s because a resolution was reached by the college football powers that be. Those in charge (I’ve lost track of exactly who that is) have announced that beginning in 2026 or possibly sooner, we will have 12 college football programs enter its annual tournament to determine, once and for all, who is your “true” national champion.
Yes, that means we could see a college football team play as many as 17 games in a season but who in their right mind complains about too much football, except for maybe the kids playing the games but they’re getting paid now so screw ‘em.
There are not too many arguments about expanding college football’s post-season that hold water. Most of us have been clamoring for it for years. Purists have traditionally argued that expanding the post-season diminishes the important of the regular season. At least now a team can slip up at one point in the season and still have a shot at redemption come January, or February, or whenever they end up playing these games.
Expanding the playoffs to 12 teams also means fewer of us will complain about the 13th team left out, a team that will undoubtedly have some bad losses on it schedule and doesn’t belong in the mix in the first place. Those debates happened regularly when we only allowed four teams in, with a fifth perhaps qualified team being the odd man out. If those voting on the Top 12 can’t agree on which teams are fit, they should look for another line of work.
There will still be plenty of favoritism amongst the six power conferences; that will never change. It’s college football and nothing will stop the rich from getting richer. Under the new format, the winner of each power conference will receive an automatic invite, the other six will be voted in based upon their resumes. 12 teams should suffice. It’s about as much as the other professional sports leagues allow into their post-seasons (NBA 20, NFL 14, MLB 12) and each of those have expanded in recent years, so why not college football?
I am for it. If nothing else, that means it gives us a break from debating about nonsense until we’re blue in the face, or in Kirk Herbstreit’s case, pink in the face with his pre-season ski tan. We’ve already determined there is nothing wrong with a two-loss national champion. With teams playing that many more games, teams will have that many losses. Or maybe they won’t, and we will be quick to label the first team that goes 17-0 the greatest team in college football history, and that will give us something else to argue about, because that’s what we do.
Either way, it appears we have finally come to some sort of resolution about this whole playoff/national champion thing. I mean, there’s no way they can possibly screw this up… right?