I think just about everyone loves the new 4 team college football playoff. In its first 2 years it has already produced multiple games that have been thrillers. Including its inaugural 1 vs 4 matchup in which Ohio state upset the title favorites the Alabama Crimson tide. It also produced another thriller last year in the national title game in which the afore mentioned tide beat the Clemson Tigers. It is inevitable that the playoff will expand at some point but how many more teams will be given the opportunity to fight for a national title?
Ultimately I believe that the college football playoff will expand to 8 teams. However, I believe that we are still at least 10 to 15 years away from that. So for the foreseeable future I see the playoff expanding to 6 teams. This may not make sense to some but let me explain. The number 3 seed would play the 6 seed in the first round and the 4 would play the 5. The number 1 and 2 seeds will be given byes in the “first round.” The number 1 seed will play the highest seed left after the first round, so if the highest seed after round 1 was the 4 seed then they would play the 4 and the number 2 seed would play the number 3. If an upset were to happen in the first round the number 1 could end up playing the number 6 in the second round. I know this seems like a lot of scenarios and numbers but trust me, it’s not that complicated.
One of the problems people will have with expanding the playoff is the number of games played. They will argue that the wear and tear of more games will cause more physical burden on the athletes. I think that if you were to ask the athletes they would be open to playing more games. Especially when the stakes are that high. Others will argue that if you open the playoff to more teams then the quality of football will go down. That I completely disagree with. No matter if it is 4, 6, or 8 teams every single one of them will have the same goal and that is to be national champions.
Opening the playoff up to 6 or 8 teams would also give the mid majors a legitimate spot at making the playoff. Now with the 4 team format not even all of the power 5 conference teams can get a team in the playoff. For example the big 12 failed to make an appearance in the first year just as the pac 12 did this past year. Not only would expanding the playoff allow for all power 5 conferences to get a team in the playoff but it would also allow either a mid major team or another viable power 5 team to make the playoff.
Opening up the college football playoff to 6 and eventually 8 teams is something that WILL happen, it is not a matter of if it is a matter of when.