Sometimes, it’s as simple as the more the merrier.
That certainly seems to be the case for the College Football Playoff. As the sport’s higher-ups contemplate an expansion from the current four-team format, a 12-team playoff has emerged as the sudden favorite, Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday.
Through its first seven seasons, the playoff has received its fair share of criticism. And on paper, a 12-team playoff seems poised to alleviate many of the issues plaguing the four-team system while providing a financial boost to the NCAA through TV and game revenue.
A 12-team playoff would theoretically see automatic bids from the five major conferences and one for the highest-ranked Group of Five champion, leaving six at-large bids.
Since the playoff’s inception in 2014, college football has suffered from the same lack of parity it hoped to curtail. A quartet of teams — Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma — are responsible for 20 of the 28 spots in playoff history, leaving little room for other programs.
In replacing the BCS, the playoff was designed to match the best four teams against one another to produce a more entertaining product. Instead, a majority of playoff games have been non-competitive. Just six of the 21 playoff games to date have ended as one-score games.
Last season, the playoff committee came under fire for its treatment of Group of Five schools. Undefeated Cincinnati finished eighth while undefeated Coastal Carolina finished 11th, both programs finishing on the outside looking in despite their unblemished records. A 12-team field would presumably provide non-Power Five teams a more level playing field.