Texas AD DeLoss Dodds' 8-Team College Football Playoff Is Not Realistic

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Texas AD DeLoss Dodds' 8-Team College Football Playoff Is Not Realistic
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds

Well, that didn't take long.

The first edition of the College Football Playoff won't take place for another 18 months, but the complaining has already begun.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds spoke out on the four-team structure at Big 12 spring meetings on Thursday, suggesting that a bigger field would be better.

"It's a baby step. It's a good step," Dodds told ESPN.com. "I'm kind of an eight-team person."

Really? Dodds couldn't even let the four-team playoff start before complaining about the format?

That's fine. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. In this particular case, though, Dodds' opinion isn't based in reality.

I think there'll be a lot of conversation about the fifth team and who didn't get in and an 11-1 team that didn't get in because somebody's 12-0 that maybe wasn't quite as good as 11-1. If you take eight, you're not going to have that. The ninth team is going to have a concern, but it's not like the fifth team.

From a 40,000-foot view, he's right.

The team ranked No. 5 in the final BCS standings typically has a blemish or two. USC in 2008, Florida in 2009, Wisconsin in 2010, Oregon in 2011 and Kansas State in 2012 were all very good teams, bordering on elite.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the exception of Boise State in 2008 which was unblemished, the teams ranked No. 9 in those years—Georgia Tech in 2009, Michigan State in 2010, South Carolina in 2011 and Texas A&M in 2012—typically have an uphill fight to truly be considered national championship-worthy.

But what Dodds fails to recognize is that simply taking the top eight teams is not realistic.

Not in the current landscape.

Conference commissioners and athletic directors can speak about a hypothetical eight-game playoff all they want, but when the rubber hits the road, do you think that an eight-game format would fly without—at the very least—automatic bids for the champions of the power five conferences?

I don't.

That's exactly why proponents of playoff expansion should be careful what they wish for. An expansion to eight could—and probably would—be much worse than even the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS) setup.

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Take the 2012 season, for example. Wisconsin went 7-5 in the regular season, won the Big Ten Championship Game and went to the Rose Bowl. Was that a national championship-worthy resume? Of course not. 

Granted, Wisconsin's presence in the Big Ten Championship Game was due to Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible because of sanctions, but NCAA issues aren't going away in the future.

The worst possible scenario for a college football playoff is if it reaches a point where access takes precedent over merit. At that point, the national title would be more of a joke than the perception of the current BCS.

If you prefer an eight-team playoff, that's fine. We are all entitled to our opinion. But let's get past the idea that an eight-team playoff would take the top eight teams, because there's no way that will ever happen.

Not with the money that would be at stake for its participants.

 

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