6 College Football Playoff FAQs

6 College Football Playoff FAQs 6 College Football Playoff FAQs

The Playoff is very different from other sports' playoffs. Currently, only four teams make the playoffs and the teams are selected by a committee. Here is some crucial information about the College Football Playoff:

1. How do teams make the playoffs?

Unlike other sports, the () are decided by a committee. With only four spots available, the committee decides on a ranking for the top four teams in the country. These decisions are based on overall/ record, difficulty of schedule, head-to-head results, won, and more.

This year, the committee also explained that they look at and the overall health of a team, which is how they decided to leave undefeated conference champion Florida State out of the 2023 playoffs.

2. What do the 2023 CFPs look like?

The teams for the 2023 CFP were announced on Sunday. Michigan got the number one seed, Washington was number two, Texas was named number three, and Alabama received the fourth spot.

Michigan and Alabama will compete in the Rose Bowl and Washington and Texas will compete in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. 

3. Why are there only four teams?

According to the College Football Playoff website, “The 10 conferences and Notre Dame unanimously agreed to the four-team format in 2012. The playoff preserves the importance and excitement of the regular , which is the most compelling in sports. It also maintains the tradition of bowl games, which are unique to the American sports culture.”

The regular season is crucial for college football teams. In many cases, one loss can mean the end of your season. This year, Georgia and Ohio State missed the playoffs with only one loss in their overall record. 

4. Have there always been only four teams?

The first 4-team CFP occurred during the 2014-2015 season. Before the CFP, the playoffs were known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) from 1998 to 2013. The BCS featured 8-10 of the top-ranked teams according to rankings and a computer ranking in various bowl games. The system ultimately failed due to a lack of money and viewership

5. What are the downfalls of the 4-team playoff system?

Every year, there is a ton of controversy over who will make the playoffs. Because you need to have an almost-perfect record, this system can come with some issues.

  • Encouraging an easy schedule: 1 loss can mean the end of any playoff dreams, which encourages teams to play easy teams.
  • The selection process: With only four teams allowed, countless top college teams don't get a chance to play in the playoffs. Every year, deserving teams may be left out, leading to debates about the selection process.
  • Subjectivity in selection: The selection process relies on a committee to choose the top four teams, and this subjective approach has been a point of contention. Critics argue that a more transparent and objective system, such as an expanded playoff with clear criteria, would be fairer.
  • Non-Power 5 Teams: Undefeated teams from non-Power Five conferences often find it challenging to secure a spot in the playoff. 
  • Bowl game devaluation: The focus on the playoff has led to concerns about the devaluation of traditional bowl games. Some argue that the emphasis on a small number of playoff games diminishes the importance and prestige of other bowl matchups.

6. Will the four-team model last?

The short answer is no. This is the last year of the four-team playoff. Starting next season, the College Football Playoff will transition into a 12-team playoff bracket. According to the NCAA, the top six ranked conference champions will receive automatic bids and the top four teams will receive a first-round bye into the quarterfinals. 

This expansion will allow a wider range of teams to be considered for the College Football Playoffs. It will also take some of the pressure off of the regular season, and allow for teams to feel more comfortable with playing tough competition. 

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