What will it take for the College Football Playoff to expand?

Expansion has been a topic of discussion since the inaugural College Football Playoff field was released, but what will it take to make expansion a reality?

The BCS ceased to exist in 2014 but national championship controversy remained. That’s because the current College Football Playoff system has one serious flaw: there are only four spots.

There have been literally thousands of articles written about why the playoff should be expanded. While I agree, the real question is not should the playoff be expanded but what will it take to make expansion necessary? The BCS was riddled with controversy, but it still managed 16 years of existence before the College Football Playoff was adopted.

It seemed like every year there was someone left out of the national championship game. Two teams from the same conference, Alabama and LSU, met in 2011. Then the playoff wheels began turning in earnest. There had to be a way to make sure the “right” teams had a chance at winning the title.

The real genius (and flaw) of the playoff was the inclusion of people into the decision-making process rather than relying on a computer. People, theoretically, could pick the most deserving teams. It’s not perfect, but it is better.

Make college football great again

At the end of the day the College Football Playoff has two goals:

  1. Determine the best college football team in the nation
  2. Make money

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As much as the common fan might want to separate the game from the bottom line the decision makers won’t ignore the dollars and cents. The BCS system made it apparent that who plays in actual championship game is just as important as the revenue the game generates.

The playoff works because it allows more opportunity for teams like Alabama and Ohio State to be featured on the national stage. The blue bloods make for good ratings. Yes, the playoff could theoretically allow for a championship game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Maryland Terrapins. But ESPN, who owns the rights to the broadcast, will always be rooting for teams like Florida State and Southern Cal. And that’s how you expand the playoff.

Show me the money

No offense to Maryland and Arizona State, but that’s not a game the nation is going to stop and watch on New Year’s Ever. That presents a problem for ESPN and the College Football Playoff committee. Cinderella teams are great stories, but not profit drivers. If that scenario did occur the committee would be forced to find a way to get more big name programs into the playoff.

Ironically, expansion will be needed to help an Alabama team that loses the Iron Bowl, not the “deserving” Group of Five team that gets snubbed. Eventually the playoff will expand. But it won’t be because they want to ensure Boise State gets a fair shot. Instead they’ll add playoff spots to give Texas a chance to sneak in with two losses.

Sure, equality and opportunity will be the anthem trumpeted to the masses. However, the College Football Playoff needs to make money. The University of Houston won’t draw a crowd, but letting both UH and LSU into the playoff as a package? That’s a slam dunk decision.

Next: 10 QBs with the best chance to win the Heisman

That’s how it happens. A Cinderella school will block out a national power. Then, all of a sudden, the field will expand to six, maybe even eight schools. It might not be fair, but money talks. Regardless of the cause, everybody wins. The College Football Playoff gets more cash and the college football fan gets more football. Until then, cross your fingers for four Cinderellas.

Source : https://saturdayblitz.com/2017/07/03/what-will-it-take-for-the-college-football-playoff-to-expand/

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