FOX's Joel Klatt breaks down his plan for successful expansion to College Football Playoff
With tasteful yet demonstrative hand gestures, FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt went public with a video touting his most-recent brainstorming session for the improvement of the College Football Playoff—and most of what the old quarterback came back with was right on the money.
“We need to expand the meaning, the success, and the definition of success to larger amounts of teams throughout college football,” Klatt said at the outset of the video. “So because of that reason, I have come up with now some criteria and a couple of different options for expansion.”
The video got better after that rocky opening.
What would @JoelKlatt's plan for Playoff expansion look like?— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) January 8, 2021
He breaks down his rule changes and the three bracket models he thinks make the most sense to improve college football moving forward ⬇️🏆 pic.twitter.com/dtLpavfb9u
The biggest problem with the current playoff is that it’s perceived to be an annual four-team invitational for the historically best, most profitable, and popular college football programs, and not an open opportunity for the top teams each season to compete for a national championship. The consequence of the current system is that a revolving group of about six programs—across the entire country and just a few leagues—appear to playoff against each other every year for a shot at the title.
Klatt wants to fix that with automatic bids and far stricter criteria for selecting teams, a process that at this stage is far more art than science as a group of selectors points to the teams they like best based on their own personal evaluation systems. Under Klatt’s system, every Power Five league champion would get an auto-bid, alongside a single automatic bid for the best Group of Five program, and presumably two at-large programs to fill out an eight-team slate.
The shifting of criteria led logically to Klatt’s next point, which is that a small committee, often with massive conflicts of interest, is being asked to award a lucrative payout and a chance to play for a title to programs whose conferences the committee members might be connected to in some way, or to satisfy some nebulous idea regarding what they believe television networks, or the public, might like best. There’s just no way to tell exactly what rationale they are selecting on, which is why Klatt has recommended they disband as presently constituted in favor of a more procedural route.
The rest of Klatt’s recommendations went toward shoring up regular season scheduling criteria to create a uniform set of metrics for teams to be evaluated on at the end of the year. These ranged from requiring a nine-game league schedule and mandating at least one Power Five opponent in the non-conference schedule, to abolishing divisions within conferences so the best two teams in each league would face off against one another in the conference championship games.
Klatt’s recommendations can be viewed below, and the video itself can be viewed here.
- Remove Conference Divisions
- Minimum nine conference game schedule + one Power 5 non-conference game
- Automatic Bids to the Power 5 league champions and the best single Group of 5 champion
- Maximum of two losses for independent teams being considered
- Remove the current playoff committee structure