We're in Year 2 of the College Football Playoff. How are you liking it so far? It's pretty good, right?
Of course it is. Four teams > two teams. Three games > one game. A selection committee > BCS selection formula.
It could be better, though.
The New Year's Eve thing was a disaster. The number of teams involved probably isn't exactly right. The scheduling of the games could be laid out in a different way.
We're definitely off to a good start, and this is easily better than the previous system, but there's still a decent amount of room for improvement.
Here are three changes we'd like to eventually see made to make the College Football Playoff better.
3. Expand The Field To 6 Teams
Expansion is coming. There's about a decade left on the current four-team deal, but we'll be stunned if a change isn't made before it's up. There's too much money being left on the table to wait that long.
Most people are arguing for the playoff field to just be doubled to eight teams. That'd be fine, but we think the better number would be six. The regular season meaning so much is a big part of what makes college football great. Going to six instead of eight would help preserve the sanctity of the regular season while making sure the playoff is as good as it can be.
With six, you can get every Power 5 champion - if they're all deserving - and the best at-large team. This season, a six-team field could have included Iowa and Stanford (or Stanford and Ohio State, or Stanford and Notre Dame, etc.). Last year, TCU and Baylor could have gotten in.
Six is the number.
2. Make The First 2 Games On-Campus Contests
This one's probably a big long shot, considering it'd leave money on the table and we were just talking about how the College Football Playoff doesn't like doing that. It makes sense, though, and it'd be a lot of fun.
Here's how it'd work:
With a six-team playoff field, the top two teams get byes, like in the NFL. The other four teams - the No. 3 to No. 6 seeds - play to make the semifinals; No. 3 plays No. 6, No. 4 plays No. 5.
You play those two games either the week after the conference championship games or the week after that (the weekend before Christmas). To make things easier on the fans and the teams, the No. 3 and No. 4 teams get to host those games on-campus. Traveling isn't as hectic, it's not as expensive for the fan bases, etc.
Who wouldn't want to watch programs like Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Florida State, etc. hosting a playoff game?
The atmospheres would be as good as anything in the sports world.
1. Make The Semifinals The Last Games Played Before The Title Game
It's pretty simple: the playoff games - the only games that really matter - should be the last ones played. Saving the best for last is a cliche for a reason. It makes sense.
It's not possible right now (the contracts of some of the bowl games have the College Football Playoff hands' tied) but at some point, it needs to happen.
If the national championship game is played on a Monday, have the two semifinal games played on the Saturday (or Friday or Thursday) a week and a half before.
It's weird watching the semifinal games knowing there are still a bunch of bowl games left to be played in following days. It makes them seem less significant. The college football season is building up to the College Football Playoff, so why not have bowl season build up to the College Football Playoff?
Make it happen.
What changes do you want to see made?