College football is changing. The playoff has made change inevitable. What was 4 will become 8. What will be 8 will become 16. There are 5 conferences with only 4 playoff teams. This year 1 team but in some 2 conferences get left out. That’s not going to work for some for very much longer.
Who remembers that the college football playoff is separate from the NCAA?
Things will change. It has to. The tip of the spear…the 5 or 6 teams that have a real shot at the playoff annually is getting sharper and sharper. If you’re a fan of one of those schools, life is good. But if you’re not it’s almost impossible to have a legitimate chance of making it in.
The system is chaos and chaos is unsustainable. But I have a plan. Divide the college football landscape into four divisions of 30 teams. Inside each division are two groups of 10 “tier-A” and one division of “tier-B” schools:
In a 10-team division every team would play everyone once and then schedule one out-of-conference from each of the other three divisions to make a 12 game schedule. Every season the top 2 from each group A division head to a 16-team playoff and the winner of each group B division goes to a 4-team playoff.
In this scenario the best programs rise to the top and the weaker programs fall to a division where they can re-group, re-tool, and can eventually re-gain their group A status.
Structure pay-outs like coaches’ salaries. Pay all group-A programs the same, pay all group-B programs the same (but slightly less). If you’re in group B and resources is the only thing holding you back, ascend and prove it. If you’re in group A and you stink, resources probably isn’t your biggest issue. Bonus each division and each group within each division accordingly as they progress through the tournament. Advance to elite 8, get a bonus for you and your division. Advance to final 4, get a bonus for you and your division, and so on.
Reduce scholarships to 65 + 10 walk ons, spread the talent around more equitably…but that’s another discussion.
The college football playoff would become a truly nation-wide tournament.