LSU fan rant: Why a 14-team College Football Playoff is a dumb idea

Fans have yet to witness a 12-team College Football Playoff, and the committee is already considering additional expansion. A 14-team CFP is a horrendous idea, and here's why.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron stand next to each other during a
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron stand next to each other during a / JOSH MORGAN/Staff, The Greenville News

Only 15 programs, including LSU football, have appeared in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. The four-team playoff offered a solution to the unpopular system of determining what teams would play for the national championship based on a computer's output. But something the Bowl Championship Series offered was constant controversy.

Controversy regarding what teams should have been selected for the BCS title game raged through every offseason. Remember when the BCS selected Alabama to play LSU in the 2011 national championship game? The Crimson Tide won the (boring) rematch but had no business appearing in the game without winning the SEC, much less the SEC West.

Regardless, controversy is good for the sport.

Surprisingly, the four-team CFP format has reached BCS-like controversy heights in recent years. From the Group Five snub debate to non-conference title competing teams getting into the top four, the CFP has been a gem for off-season fan gab.

Florida State fans still complain about the Seminoles being left out of the most recent playoff.

Expanding from four to 12 teams is aggressive. We knew the CFP would inevitably expand, but tripling the field feels unnecessary. I think eight teams is the absolute maximum, and I don't care for every conference to receive an automatic bid. A 14 team field will become an unbearable popularity contest.

A team's strength of schedule matters and the teams that play softer opponents and win more games should not be rewarded with a title shot. For example, the program that emerges from a Texas and Oklahoma-less Big 12 is likely to feature the weakest strength of schedule among the CFP’s Power Five conference champs.

Moreover, the 12-team format will feature many conference title game losers, rendering conference championship games useless as a result. One can argue that seeding is a consideration; thus, it behooves college football programs to win their conference. I disagree.

The 2019 LSU football team was the first to win the CFP as the No. 1 seed. 2020 Alabama and 2022 Georgia have done the same since. But three teams in nine years doesn't support an argument for higher seeds having an advantage. Conversely, the 12-team format will afford higher seeds a first-round home game. That's an incredible opportunity, but it won't apply to the No. 1 or No. 2 seeds that earn a bye week.

Also, no Group Five teams will win the CFP, regardless of how much the committee expands the field.

I enjoy watching small schools make March Madness runs on the basketball court, but football involves a physical element, which the Power Five programs have an advantage. A Group Five program could win a single game on Boise State-like playbook trickery, or the Goliath opponent shows up flat. But the depth and resources enjoyed by college football's larger programs will always prevail.

I know that CFP expansion is all about money, but I couldn't care less about ESPN's revenue potential as a fan. Instead, I want a competition featuring the best teams in college football regardless of the casual fan's interest in watching an American Athletic Conference team try their luck against juggernaut programs.

Realistically, only six to eight college football programs are good enough to compete in the next CFP. Some fans will say that's an unfair assumption, considering the 2024 season has yet to play out. I'll point out to those fans that the CFP has practically revolved around the same four teams (Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, and Ohio State) since its inception.

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A 12-team playoff is obtuse. A 14-team playoff dilutes the CFP to the joke that is the NBA playoffs.