The College Football Playoff will expand at some point. Officials started talking about it publicly before it was even played, no one in sports has ever demonstrated a tendency against adding lucrative stuff, and the New Year's Six bowl structure has already elevated six different bowls to semifinal status. Giving Playoff duties to more than two of those games per year would not be a huge challenge.
Here's what it'd look like if we did six teams, with first-round byes for the top two seeds and automatic bids for all five power conferences, meaning Big 12 champ Oklahoma would jump No. 6 Michigan and get a rematch against Ohio State. (We should pay players money for playing 12 to 16 games of revenue-generating football, which might require paying college coaches as if they're not NFL coaches and/or not building nine-figure facilities.)
You could also give the sixth spot to the top-ranked mid-major champion instead of an auto-bid, if you wanted to avoid eventual BCS-style lawsuits and be able to claim that every team definitely has a path to a national title. That would make Oklahoma No. 5 and Western Michigan No. 6 this year. This is close to a totally fair plan. Power 5 teams would better know their Playoff requirements (just be the best in your conference, though you could sub in Penn State for Ohio State this year if you wanted only conference champs, meaning non-conference games no longer matter at all), and no mid-majors would be eliminated before Week 1 begins.
Here's an eight-team plan that gives automatic bids to each Power 5 champ and the top-ranked mid-major, plus two at-large spots. If you want all six New Year's bowls to host Playoff games every year, here you go (this year, it could even have a traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Rose Bowl). This is also pretty good, but it sure would be nice if it compensated players for their additional wear-and-tear and academic disruptions. On Wednesday, NCAA president Mark Emmert came out in support of a plan like this, but he doesn't have any say here.
And here's a full, 24-team, FCS-style tournament that includes automatic bids for every FBS conference champion (I ranked the last few mid-majors, who aren't in the Playoff rankings, by S&P+ rankings). The FCS level manages to cram all this in without sprawling into mid-January, so it'd have to get going without a month-long December delay. And it'd make a ton of money, which would be nice to see go to players and not all to multi-millionaires.
Brackets via Challonge.com
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