Why expanding the College Football Playoff wouldn't hamper Alabama dominance
Throughout the eight years the College Football Playoff has been in place, 12 of the 16 semifinal games have been decided by more than 14 points.
That included both semifinal games this season.
Some pundits think expanding the playoff would create closer games and more varied outcomes.
Count Alabama coach Nick Saban among those skeptical of that.
"I don't see the logic (that) if we had more teams there would be better games," Saban said Monday. "I don't know how that adds up."
On this edition of "SEC Football Unfiltered," a podcast from the USA TODAY Network, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams examine the case for an expanded playoff and whether it would generate more compelling games and create more parity within a sport that has become dominated by a handful of teams, led by Alabama.
Toppmeyer and Adams favor expanding the playoff, but neither believe it would significantly affect college football's balance of power.
Toppmeyer believes Alabama and Georgia would have met in the championship this season whether the playoff featured four, eight or 12 teams.
One theory suggests that an expanded playoff would help more programs generate momentum by helping elevate recruiting. If that's the case, Adams counters, then why does Cincinnati's 2022 recruiting class rank No. 37 in the 247Sports Composite, which is two spots behind Vanderbilt -- yes, Vanderbilt?
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Meanwhile, Texas A&M has the No. 1-ranked class despite never qualifying for the playoff, while Alabama is No. 2.
Alabama will continue to gobble up five-star recruits no matter how many teams are in the playoff. And as long as that's the case, the Crimson Tide will be hard to uproot from college football's throne.
Moving from the BCS system to the CFP didn't alter the SEC's stranglehold on the sport. The SEC will produce a national champion for the fifth time during the eight-year playoff era on Monday, and this is the second time in the past five seasons that Alabama and Georgia will meet in the championship.
While little evidence suggests that an expanded playoff will improve college football's parity, Toppmeyer and Adams simply would like to see the playoff expand because more playoff games is better than fewer playoff games.
As compelling as Ohio State's 48-45 win over Utah was in the Rose Bowl, would it not have been even more captivating had it come with playoff advancement on the line?
Plus, Adams thinks each of the Power Five conference champions deserves a spot in the playoff, and the only way to achieve that is via expansion.
Later in the episode
Toppmeyer and Adams discuss a few SEC teams that altered their stock report with their bowl game performance:
Helped its stock: South Carolina
Solidified their stock: Arkansas, Kentucky
Hurt their stock: Mississippi State, Auburn
Where to listen to SEC Football Unfiltered
Blake Toppmeyer is an SEC Columnist for the USA TODAY Network. John Adams is a senior columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel. If you enjoy their coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. You can also subscribe to their podcast, SEC Football Unfiltered. They also host a podcast focused on Tennessee football, The Volunteer State.