UCF is going to throw themselves a party after self-declaring ‘National Champions’. They have a point and until the playoff committee finds a way to be inclusive of the rest of college football outside of the Power Five they will have this issue.
There is a clear difference in revenue and resources between the Power 5 and the G5 that is mostly a matter of television revenue at this point. Just a few years ago Rutgers and TCU were outside of the big money and at this point the chasm between the lowest P5 and the best G5 programs is traversable.
The best G5 teams should have at least a chance to shock the world. That is all anyone wants. No one thinks that year-to-year that the best G5 team can beat the best Power 5 — Alabama is ridiculously good — but right now that matchup does happen.
Eight team playoff with the P5 league champions getting an automatic bid and the final three spots going to the highest rated G5, and two at-large bids.
I would prefer the G5 get two spots but that is probably pushing it. This season’s teams:
- Clemson – ACC
- Oklahoma – Big 12
- Georgia – SEC
- Alabama – At Large
- Ohio State – Big 10
- Wisconsin – At Large
- USC – Pac 12
- UCF – G5 Champ – AAC
Your first round matchups:
- Clemson – UCF
- OU – USC
- Georgia – Wisconsin
- Alabama – Ohio State
The worst outcome here is that injuries will inevitably happen with the increased number of games. The only way to mitigate this would be to lose one or two of the regular season games to begin the season. By placing an emphasis on winning your league, there is incentive to remove one of the inessential games. The increased revenue from the playoff expansion can offset some of the need for the body bag games played by the SEC teams.
There is still enough incentive to build a good resume because of the at-large berths and so teams will still need to make a good case for themselves.