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Tom's Takes: More teams and more dreams come with College Football Playoff expansion
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COMMENTARY

Tom's Takes: More teams and more dreams come with College Football Playoff expansion

The current format of four teams could soon be expanding to a twelve-team field.

Quick takes on the proposed College Football Playoff expansion to 12 teams:

» I like it. I expected the next move to be to six or eight, but the commissioners decided if you’re going to be more inclusive, go bigger. The more I think about 12, the more I like it.

» Pay the players. Before we dissect the proposal, this needs to be said.

Adding three more football games, with the two championship game teams playing 17 games, is akin to an NFL season. And maybe that’s not NFL-level physical abuse on those young bodies, but it’s tough enough.

The majority of college football players will not play in the NFL. And are not ready physically to play that many games.

You bet your Twitter account that the players will speak out on this. Get ready for it. The Name, Image and Likeness legislation and transfer portal will empower the players. Are the poobahs ready for a players union? They better be.

Give the players a cut of the soon-to-be-ridiculous playoff money. They’ll get NIL money. It’s not like this will be some radical change.

» There will always be vigorous debating when a committee is involved. There would definitely be at eight teams, and even with 16 teams there’s going to be a 17th and 18th who think they got jobbed.

But I think 12 takes care of a lot of that debate. Go look at previous years. There aren’t many years when there were 12 credible playoff teams. There will be debate, but it won’t be taken too seriously.

» According to national scribe Brett McMurphy, a 12-team playoff last year would have had Coastal Carolina at Notre Dame, Indiana at Texas A&M, Iowa State at Florida and Georgia at Cincinnati.

Iowa State fans: Would you rather be in a playoff game at Florida or go to the Fiesta Bowl? What do you think?

It will be fascinating to watch how fans everywhere answer this question going forward.

» I love the idea of teams hosting playoff games on campus. But I would take it a step farther and make the quarterfinal games on campus too.

This wrinkle absolutely adds bite to the regular season. Every game means a step toward playing for a conference title or a runner-up finish in the league that could guarantee an at-large berth. And every win goes toward a final ranking that could give a team a home playoff berth.

Here in the great white north, it could be the difference between winning and losing the playoff game. Love it.

» I’ve been on the bandwagon that if you’re going to expand the playoffs, get rid of the conference championship games. Too often they aren’t good games or even good matchups. Just money grabs. But now they aren’t going away.

» I think it will be really interesting how many teams are selected from one conference. And where nonconference games fit into this. If the committee simply rewards victories, a lot of great cross-sectional noncon games will go away.

But maybe we’ll get them on the back end in the playoffs.

» Just a note: the playoff sub-committee that put this together was made up of commissioners from the Big 12, SEC, Mountain West and the Notre Dame athletic director. They look like the power brokers for the sport. Insert your own punch line about the Big Ten.

» I know we could likely still get the usual suspects in the national championship. But I love just the possibility that an underdog could get on a roll, or that the more games Bama and Clemson play, the more chances they have to get beat. More teams, more hopes, more dreams. That alone makes this worth it for me.

» McMurphy also reports that if this proposal passes this summer, the earliest it would take place would be for the 2023 season. And four to 10 bowl games would be eliminated.

» Those bowls will only be missed by the older guard, like this wise old scribe, if it all. The new generation will be all about playoffs. This is a huge game-changer for college football. And that’s okay. Every sport must evolve.

» But watch how this impacts fans and coaches. It’s going to be major.

» Fans of top-25 schools will no longer be happy with making a bowl game. Not when the top half of the poll is in the playoff. And fans of teams anywhere in the top 40-50 are going to want a piece of the action at some point, or be knocking on the door.

It will put a real premium on winning your division. And again that makes the regular season better.

» What does that mean for coaches? A double-edged sword. Another chance at a postseason bonus for making the field. But another chance for fans and media to turn up the hot seat. No more "we made a bowl game so it was a good year." Nobody will be sadder to see the impact of bowl games go away than coaches.

» So, Scott Frost, what kind of team are you going to have in 2023?


Pay the players. Before we dissect the proposal, this needs to be said.Adding three more football games, with the two championship game teams playing 17 games, is akin to an NFL season. And maybe that’s not NFL-level physical abuse on those young bodies, but it’s tough enough.The majority of college football players will not play in the NFL. And are not ready physically to play that many games.You bet your Twitter account that the players will speak out on this. Get ready for it. The Name, Image and Likeness legislation and transfer portal will empower the players. Are the poobahs ready for a players union? They better be.Give the players a cut of the soon-to-be-ridiculous playoff money. They’ll get NIL money. It’s not like this will be some radical change.

Omaha World-Herald: Big Red

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