12 is greater than 4: Why and how the playoff picture should change

Each year has exposed problems with the playoff rankings but especially the weight of conference championships. While many believe conference champions should get an automatic boost above other teams for playoff positions this year proves to be the most troubling for those arguments.

There is no denying that the Big Ten conference will not be missing just one of its best teams from their conference championship game this year but in fact that game will have the TWO best teams from it’s conference completely absent from that game. It is unfortunate and probably a rare circumstance but that is the way the divisions have fallen and that is why conference divisions should be dissolved.

Here is my submission for the concept of a 12 team playoff.



Each power five conference at the end of the regular season will select their two best teams to face off in the first round of the playoffs, the championship games. The conferences will be very determined at deciding on the two best teams because best teams mean best chances on winning games further in playoffs and more money for the conference and we all know everyone wants to follow the money. So, once all the power five conferences have selected their two best teams (by whatever their criteria are) they will play the championship games. The playoff committee still will serve a purpose as they will then rank the selected championship contending teams, this will come into play later. The results of those games will then be the champions of those conferences, but that is only 5 teams. The last team will come from the at large teams. Another role of the playoff committee takes place here as they will be the ones to select the top two independent/non-power five teams to play in their own “championship” game, even though the two teams may not come from the same conference. The winner of that game will then fill the sixth spot.



This is where the rankings set by the playoff committee take effect. The 2 highest ranked teams remaining will be rewarded with a bye and the other 4 teams will face off in another round of playoff games. After those games are concluded there will be only 4 teams remaining in total who will then faceoff to decide on the final two teams to play for the national championship.



The whole purpose of a playoff is to give THE best teams a chance at winning the championship. This in fact accomplishes that. Conferences will look to select their best teams and this also eliminates any possibility of a there ever being a chance of a national championship game with two teams from the same conference. This gives the opportunity to more teams and will show who truly has earned the right to play in the championship game. Also this not only adds more teams to the playoff as a whole but it doesn’t add a large amount of extra games to the process, in fact, it only adds 2 extra games.


So this is my submission for the playoff picture moving forward. That sometime soon conference divisions be eliminated, conference championship games will still exist, 12 teams will get a shot at the national championship and a true champion will be decided.

Caleb Guthrie

Co-Host with the Blue Brothers Sportscast

The Blue Network



2 thoughts on “12 is greater than 4: Why and how the playoff picture should change

  1. So many issues with this…I could write a book.

    First and foremost – we would have to rename this into something like “CF National Invitational Tournament.”
    Because you’ve changed the basic measure of qualification from field W/L to a beauty contest.

    Why? Because you think that the better team doesn’t always win.

    So, If you continue in this kind of thing, why would the “ugly girls” ever think they could get in? It is not fair to them. As it is, Western Michigan today is showing that being from the wrong side of the tracks will never be righted. Never will there be a MAC team win a Natty in today’s system. Never. So why do they agree to play in this at all? If I can stretch the analogy: The movie “Hoosiers” never gets made because after the game they give the trophy to the stronger team.


    This proposal takes the beauty contest even deeper into the swamp by having the conference name representatives.
    Sorry; that’s doubling down on the basic issue, in my book. Win on the field should matter more, Win your conference should matter more. Sometimes it’s a bad beat, but that’s part of the game… don’t want a bad beat, score more points, defend better. Sometimes sportsmanship is saying; “You got me today – 100-1 shot. Good on you.” (…but I’ll get you for the next 99 tomorrows.)

    My Opinion on this year? Michigan should not be in the CFP, Neither should OSU.

    If it has to be only 4; Pick from the Conference winners – best 4 of the 10 conferences based on strength of schedule.
    PS: There should only be 8 conferences; max.

    1. I’m not sure where you’re getting beauty contest from but this was based off the playoff rankings from the week that it was created. Taking the “best teams” (or highest ranked teams) from each conference. If you’re just focused on the Big Ten then look at the SEC. Florida slides in to their conference championship each year because their division is easier than the west. If you took the two best teams in the SEC each year it would often be Alabama vs Auburn or Alabama vs LSU majority of the time in recent years.

      The better team doesn’t always win? If that is directed at Michigan then maybe you’re over looking them having beaten Penn State and Wisconsin. But again, this was based off of the “best teams” that were in the playoff rankings the week that this was created.

      And making an argument why Western Michigan would never get a shot at the national title, this concept gives them that opportunity. So, I’m not sure what your issue is with that.

      Also then should the NFL change the playoffs to the “NFL Invitational?” Because last I checked every division gets a team into the post season. This essentially creates the same opportunity in college.

      There are two main reasons behind this setup.
      One: get rid of conference divisions. You could have an undefeated in one division play a 3 loss team from the other while there could be multiple one loss or two loss teams sitting behind the undefeated team in their division.
      Two: giving each power 5 conference a team in the playoffs. The whole “this conference is the best conference in college football” is BS. Conference strength changes EVERY year outside of Alabama, and that’s a TEAM not a CONFERENCE. So to guarantee you get the best teams the shot at the title then take the best team from each conference, hence the play in game for each conference. Should Oklahoma have gotten a shot? the took down Auburn 35-19. When Alabama played them their score was 30-12. Never know when you leave conferences out.

      Again, these rankings, this set up, was created off of the playoff rankings the week that it was created.

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