Stop me if you've heard this one before: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma all walk into the college football playoff...
College football expert Phil Steele recently recently joined the Klahr and Company podcast on ESPN Denver for the ‘Big CFB Show’ to discuss all things college football related. Among the topics discussed were Steele's picks for the 2021 College Football Playoff. While his prediction for the final four is a fairly safe bet, it also serves as further evidence that an expansion to the CFP is desperately needed.
“Well, the Final Four I really went out on a limb this year,” Steele said. “I mean, Alabama out of the SEC. I’ve got Clemson out of the ACC. How about Ohio State out of the Big Ten. And I’ve got Oklahoma out of the Big 12.
“I actually like Oklahoma [to win it all] this year. I think when you look at the big four, the other three teams Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, all had some significant losses to the NFL draft. All of them lost their quarterback, and when you look at Oklahoma they’re a team that’s got a veteran quarterback. And what have we seen under Lincoln Riley when he has a veteran quarterback? Two Heisman trophies and one quarterback that was a Heisman finalist. So you know they’re going to be potent on offense. They’ve got Kennedy Brooks, Eric Gray, Marcus Major at running back, a loaded receiving corps - which I rate No. 2 in the country - and my No. 1 rated offensive line in the country.”
Not exactly riveting stuff for 99% of the rest of the country.
As it stands, Alabama and Clemson lead the way with the most college football playoff appearances - having made it to the final four in six times over the last seven seasons. Both Ohio State and Oklahoma have made four appearances each. In total, the four teams named above have made 20 CFP appearances - which is more than double the appearances of every other college football program put together.
Put simply, the college football playoff is extremely predictable.
Due to the lack of parity that the four-team playoff system has created, many within the college football world have been asking for an expansion to the CFP in an effort to create more interest and opportunities for other programs - something that has worked quite well for college basketball.
After much discussion, It now looks like expansion to the college football playoff is imminent. Brett McMurphy of The Stadium was first to report that the college football playoff is expected to expand to 12 teams and would be officially implemented by 2023. The potential expansion to a 12-team playoff would change college football dramatically, particularly late in the season. According to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a 12-team playoff would create an energy in October and November that doesn't currently exist for many within the college football world.
Bowlsby also acknowledged that decisionmakers may underestimated the difficulties a limited four-team playoff would create.