FOX Sports' Matt Leinart proposes format for eight-team College Football Playoff
The pundits have been clamoring for an eight-team playoff really since the four-team College Football Playoff system began in 2014. Everyone has their own ideas of how such an expanded field should work, and on Saturday morning, FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart weighed in, revealing his own plan for how an eight-team playoff system could be better.
“The Power 5 conference champions, they will have an automatic bid,” Leinart explained. “Then you take the three at-large teams selected by a committee. Now the one caveat, the highest ranked Group of 5 team is guaranteed a spot if they go undefeated. Right now, that team would be SMU.”
Leinart also said that in his format, once the eight teams are determined, they are reseeded 1-8 with the top seeds getting to host the quarterfinals. Check out Leinart’s full explanation below:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 2, 2019
There’s a lot to like about Leinart’s proposal. First, it would eliminate Power 5 conferences getting shut out altogether, which is something that should be of interest to the Big Ten, with the conference having missed the playoff the last two years. Actually, over the last two seasons, only the SEC, ACC and Big 12 have been represented in the College Football Playoff.
This format would also enable a path for a Group 5 school getting into the tournament. With the four-team playoff, that’s just not possible as UCF unfortunately proved in 2017.
There’s still a committee choosing three of the teams, but with the three extra spots, it would allow a “second-tiered” team such as a Penn State to suffer one loss and still make the postseason. Penn State was in that situation a few years ago and could be again this fall. Notre Dame and other independents would also qualify for the at-large bids rather than taking up a spot that could go to a team in a Power 5 conference like the Fighting Irish did last season.
It will be interesting to see if Leinart’s ideas continue to get traction around college football. This is about as good of a proposal for playoff expansion out there at the moment.