Paul Finebaum is like the rest of the college football world, gearing up for a new look in the College Football Playoff this season. However, he provided a brutal admission during Greg McElroy’s latest “Always College Football” show.

Asked about the move to 12 teams, Finebaum said he felt the field is too large “for a perfect world.” Based on recent results in the Playoff, it’s unlikely the teams toward the bottom of the field will be able to seriously compete for the national title.

“I think in a perfect world, (12) is too many because I don’t think you get down to 10, 11 and 12 and they’re probably really in a good spot to even compete,” Finebaum admitted. “I’ve heard some say 8 is the best number, but we’re at 12, so let’s look at it that way.”

As for the positive aspects, Finebaum does expect the new Playoff to be entertaining. College football will begin to look a bit more like the NFL (and possibly even further beginning in 2026), but that’s an understandable evolution given the success of the NFL.

“I think it’s going to be fun and entertaining, and yeah, it’s going to look a little like the NFL. But, what doesn’t look like the NFL when you have the success record they have had? I like the inclusion, I like the fact that there are more parts of college football will matter,” said Finebaum.

Here’s the full episode with talk about the Playoff format beginning around the 8-minute mark:

As we prepare for the new Playoff, fans can track the latest national championship odds with Tradition’s sports betting in Ohio links with Georgia still leading the way.

Why Paul Finebaum’s right

Moving to a 12-team Playoff was always just a matter of time once the old BCS model was dissolved. And now that the Playoff is at 12 teams, it’s probably just a matter of time before things move to 14 teams or bigger.

Such a move is rooted in interest and excitement, but that doesn’t mean it’s designed for the most competitive finish in football. The number of blowouts from the history of the 4-team Playoff is enough to illustrate that, even if the last 2 years were more competitive in the semifinals.

Overall, there was a way to create a 4-team tournament that would have been picture-perfect for college football. Unfortunately, the path to that model was destroyed with the creation of the College Football Playoff.

For as much grief as the BCS received, the model itself was sound. That’s more apparent the further away from the system we get with concerns of bias within the selection committee and the methods used to determine the final Playoff field.

The correct model for college football involved keeping the BCS but expanding to include a 4-team Playoff. Instead, the introduction of the Playoff with its Management Committee and Board of Managers all but ensured expansion will continue, and the final format for 2026 and beyond could be even larger than the 12-team model.

So, if the “perfect world” model of the Playoff doesn’t exist, what does that mean? All that’s left is to create a Playoff based on interest and intrigue to capitalize on as much revenue as possible.

It doesn’t mean the Playoff won’t be fun, and it doesn’t mean the championship is illegitimate. But everything here on out will indeed be far from perfect.