A Four-Team Playoff is not the Answer
All indications point that a four-team college football playoff is inevitable but each conference believes that their suggestion is the right one. The Pac-12 wants entry limited to conference champions while the SEC does not want to exclude quality teams that failed to win their leagues (the conference's regular season No. 2 are the reigning national champion).
Every argument that has been made is valid but all have flaws as well. I would throw out the four-team format. A traditionalist will fear an overly expansive field and I agree with that to an extent but four is too exclusive if the system is meant to determine the most deserving champion.
The 2008 season ended with the Utah Utes as the only undefeated team in the nation. Utah defeated ranked foes like Oregon State, TCU, BYU and Alabama on their way to a 13-0 finish. Their 31-17 victory in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama was a statement win, suggesting that they were worthy of playing in the BCS National Championship game. Yet, in a four-team playoff system Utah would have been left out.
Similarly, Boise State would have been out of the championship fray in the 2009 season despite beating the eventual Pac-10 champion Oregon Ducks 19-8 and proving themselves a top four team after beating TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl. I think that a four-team format will not solve the championship dilemma, it will only exacerbate it.
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