Proposed Eight Team College Football Championship Playoff Series

By Chuck Hawks

To replace the present four team playoff series, I propose that the top eight teams meet in four of the existing bowl games. These Quarter-final National Championship Bowl Games would be played on the second Saturday following the end of the regular season.

The four winning teams would meet the following Saturday in two Semi-final National Championship Games, also existing bowl games. The two winning teams would advance to the National Championship Game, which will be the only game in the series not played as an existing bowl game. All other Bowl games would proceed as usual through January 1st of the New Year, with their regular conference or intersectional match-ups.

The two winning teams from the semi-final round of bowl games would meet in the National Championship Game, normally to be played after the conclusion of all the bowl games. Perhaps the National Championship game should rotate from site to site, as the NCAA basketball championship does, or perhaps a permanent site (such as the Rose Bowl) could be chosen. These things could be worked out. In any case, the game should be played in either a covered, climate controlled stadium, or a location where the January weather is typically good.

This system would not seriously disrupt revenues from the current Bowl Games or their sponsors. It would get the Championship over with without intruding any farther into the new school term than the present four team championship tournament. Most of all, it would give eight of the best teams in the country a shot at the National Championship.

Criteria for Selecting Eight Teams

The eight playoff teams should be selected in the following manner. First, to qualify all Power Five conference teams must play a minimum of nine conference games in a 12 game season. Second, all Power Five conference teams must play at least one other Power Five conference team among their three non-conference games. Third, FBS teams may play only one FCS team during the season.

The Selection Committee should be required to include the champions of the Power Five conferences in the field of eight, providing that the conference champion has not lost more than two games during the season. (If a conference champion has lost three or more games, they are not automatically excluded, but they go into the general pool of teams to be considered.) The highest ranked team not in a Power Five conference shall also automatically get a bid. The final places in the tournament shall be filled by the highest ranked teams remaining.

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