Roth: CFB playoff format is “a slap in the face to sport”


No. 1 Alabama (13-0) capped an undefeated season Monday, beating No. 3 Ohio State (7-1), 52-24, for the national championship.

While it was a wonderful win for the Crimson Tide, Kirk Herbstreit believes that college football’s playoff format needs tweaking. In fact, he said in December that the college football postseason is “as bad as there is” due to its predictability.

“I’ve never been a fan of the playoff,” Pac 12 Network analyst Yogi Roth said on The DA Show. “The reason is it makes the focus on four teams and two games at the end of the year and then of course the title game, and it nixes teams based on the narratives. I live that every year. When Washington played Auburn or Oregon played Auburn, if they lost, the whole conference was out. That’s not right for the game. That’s not what college football is all about.”

There is, however, an “easy fix,” Roth says: expansion.

“Everyone knows it’s going to happen,” he said. “They just have to wait until the contract runs out. To me, that is an immature move. . . . There was an opportunity to expand [this year]. This could have been a mulligan year to even test it out and give a team like Cincinnati or give a Pac-12 champ or give somebody from the Big 12 [a chance] and get every Power Five in and expand it.”

Over the years, several teams have lost their final game of the season and still made the playoff. Alabama did that in 2017. Notre Dame did it in 2020.

“In all of sports, in my entire life, if you lose your last game, you don’t advance,” Roth said. “This is the one sport where that is not true in a single-elimination environment. This is not true, and I think that is a slap in the face to sport. Our entire life, we’re taught, ‘Win and keep going. Lose and go home.' In this sport, that’s not always the case because of a lot of the narratives or the realities of these teams, but what happened to the reality of playing? I think that is what kind of gets lost, and I’m with Herbstreit on that.”