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The Extra Point

FCS proves expanded playoffs work

Chris Siers
Posted 5/17/21

Too often, the lower levels of college football seem to get lost in the mix with the FBS teams dominating the headlines. Since the FCS division of college football opted to play its season in spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes were on Sunday afternoon's championship game between Sam Houston State and South Dakota State...

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The Extra Point

FCS proves expanded playoffs work

Posted

Too often, the lower levels of college football seem to get lost in the mix with the FBS teams dominating the headlines.

Since the FCS division of college football opted to play its season in spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes were on Sunday afternoon's championship game between Sam Houston State and South Dakota State.

The FCS division often feels like the XFL or Canadian Football League in comparison to the NFL.

There are no household names like Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State, yet the competition is still top-notch.

These are collegiate athletes who maybe don't gain the recognition that your five-star prospects do, but at the end of the day, they're still competing for a national title.

What should be taken from the spring's showcase of the FCS division of collegiate football is this-it's entirely possible for a larger playoff format to succeed in football.

The four-team playoff format is designed to keep the same teams in position to dominate due to the cash revenue they generate.

Following Sunday's FCS title game, there's no argument for what team deserved to be there.

It's a simple recipe-play until you lose.

This notion that a FBS football postseason cannot exist in a scenario in which teams are not chosen to compete is ridiculous.

Every year, there's arguments as to who is the best team and the supposed "eye test" comes into play.

This season, the playoff format was reduced from 24 teams to 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A typical season that employs the 24-team format issues 10 auto bids and 14 at-large bids.

This format absolutely should be employed by the FBS division of football.

Power Five conference champions should automatically gain berths into the system, followed by the highest ranked Group of Five team, with two at large bids.

This does two things: No. 1 it gives meaning to each Power 5 conference title. Want to make sure you have a spot in the playoffs? Win your conference title. As it stands now, as long as you're the correct brand, you don't even have to play in your conference title, as evidenced by Alabama a few seasons ago.

No. 2 this ensures a true playoff atmosphere. By expanding the playoffs, you create more of the March Madness feel to the postseason.

The first two rounds of the March Madness basketball tournament are among the most exciting competitions to be played in sports.

Now imagine that level of excitement with the most popular sport in the country. How has this not been a thing?

It's simple. The powers at be can't allow a chance of an upset for a non-cash cow brand.

Currently, there is trending discussion that is leaning towards some sort of playoff expansion, though specifics remain to be seen.

There absolutely should be an expansion and if there are any questions about whether or not it can actually work in college football, just look at the showcase of the FCS this spring.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.

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