Is Expanding the College Football Playoff a No-Brainer?

Is Expanding the College Football Playoff a No-Brainer?

All Things CW: How a 12-Team College Football Playoff Could Have Looked Last Season

Imagine the following scenario, undefeated Alabama is the top seed for the playoff and in the quarterfinals gets to face ... Georgia
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While the Julio Jones trade has been the talk of the NFL, expanding the playoff has the attention of the college football world this week. 

Reportedly, the next version of the College Football Playoff is expected to include 12 teams, which has provoked a lot of discussion, including the following:

Christopher Walsh: The Problem with CFP Expansion is No One's Thinking About the Players

Pat Forde: A 12-Team College Football Playoff Could Work, But It Needs One Big Concession

The concession that Forde wrote about was something that many proponents have been arguing all along, that the addition of any more games in the playoff should be offset with at least one fewer game elsewhere, either during the regular season or by getting rid the conference championships (which will almost certainly not happen).

Nevertheless, take a look at how a potential 12-team playoff would look, regardless of the scheduling, location and player durability issues. 

For last season, the automatic bids would have gone to Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, the highest-ranking conference champions.

The rest of the field, if relying on the CFP rankings, would have included Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Iowa State, Indiana and Coastal Carolina.

The Pac-12 would not have had a playoff team. 

Notre Dame can't have a bye under the proposed setup. Look for that to be changed. 

Assuming straight brackets, and not adjusting anything due to conference affiliations, the pairings would have been as followed: 

9 Cincinnati vs. 8 Georgia; Winner gets 1 Alabama 

12 Coastal Carolina vs. 5 Notre Date; Winner plays 4 Oklahoma 

11 Indiana vs. 6 Texas A&M; Winner faces 3 Ohio State 

10 Iowa State vs. 7 Florida; Winner takes on 2 Clemson 

Obviously there would have bene huge interest in those games. 

However, some things to point out:

• If I'm Alabama and had that bracket, I'd be pretty upset about possibly facing Georgia. The Crimson Tide already plays in the toughest league in the nation, and there would be the potential to face more SEC teams just to get into the title game.

• Georgia and Cincinnati did play, but in the Peach Bowl. It turned out to be an outstanding game, but under very different circumstances. Would it had been the same in a playoff setting? 

• Did the bottom four teams really deserve a shot at playing for the national championship? Iowa State was 8-3 at that point. So was Florida. Indiana went on and lost to Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl. Coastal Carolina lost to Liberty in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. 

• Would it minimize the regular season, conference championships and bowl games? Absolutely. 

Just more food for thought, along with the corresponding video ... 

[Note: This part of the notes column was updated after the CFP management committee made its recommendation Thursday].

Bonus Thought 

How smart does Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne look by landing so home-and-home series for the next decade plus instead of neutral-site games. 

If the new playoff format is approved for the 2023 season, as expected, Alabama fans could be looking at three-neutral site games during the Crimson Tide's title runs, after potentially playing in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. 

How many people could afford that? 

Another run at WCWS?

With pitchers Montana Fouts and Lexi Kilfoyl expected to be back, Alabama is will be a big-time favorite to return to Oklahoma City next year. But the rest of the roster will  look very different. 

The Crimson Tide had numerous players who came back for an extra year after the 2020 season was canceled, the most notable being Bailey Hemphill. Maddie Morgan will also not return and KB Sides has entered the transfer portal. 

However, Kaylee Tow has announced she's coming back. Bailey Dowling should be back in the lineup after having a season-ending knee injury. Coach Patrick Murphy inked six during the November signing period, a 2021 class that was ranked No. 5 by ExtraInnings Softball with each player in its Top 50 individual rankings.

The overall talent level could be exceptional. 

Skylar Wallace left for Florida last year, but don't be surprised if we see the opposite this season, with Alabama drawing interest from some top-level players who would otherwise never have a shot at a national title.   

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Christopher Walsh's notes column All Things CW appears weekly on BamaCentral+.

 

While the Julio Jones trade has been the talk of the NFL, expanding the playoff has the attention of the college football world this week. 

Reportedly, the next version of the College Football Playoff is expected to include 12 teams, which has provoked a lot of discussion, including the following:

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