Sean Merriman, web editor, November 20, 2015

BCS. College Football Playoff. Whatever it is, fans are going to find flaws in the system.

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This is the second year of the College Football Playoff era, and with weekly rankings behind released every Tuesday night, arguments heat up on a daily basis.

Is a four-team playoff the right move? What would an eight-team playoff look like? senior writer Tom Dienhart and web editor Sean Merriman debate the following question: Do you want to see an eight-team college football playoff?

Here we go.

DIENHART: Yes. I would love to see the playoffs move from four teams to eight. But, I?ll settle for a six-team playoff. My idea: Give automatic bids to the champions of the five power conferences: ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12. Then, have one wild card team. How would that wild card team get chosen? Have a committee do it. A six-team playoff wouldn?t require as many additional games as an eight-team playoff would, as the sport is very sensitive about the time commitments and health of players. Plus, a six-team playoff with five automatic bids would rid the sport of the subject nature of a committee that currently chooses all the teams. Win your conference-get a bid. What a novel idea. This would be a much more cut-and-dry system that also would loop in two more teams, as four is too small of a playoff.


MERRIMAN: No. I was in favor of it, but the more I think about it, I think an eight-team playoff would "NFL-alize" college football. What do I mean by that? If you give automatic bids to the champions of the five power conferences, what incentive do teams have to play their starters at the end of the regular season if they've already locked up a spot in their conference championship game? Could you imagine if Ohio State rolled through the Big Ten, had a bid to the Big Ten title game locked up through 11 games, and then rested their starters against rival Michigan? That would be such a bad look for college football! But if you're Ohio State, you can't blame them for doing so. With only four playoff bids, and such a small margin for error, you will never see that problem occur.