Really Chest? You don’t think the playoffs should be expanded? I disagree bro. The Pac-12 gets zero respect nationally. The amount of disrespect this conference gets is undeserved because even though the conference hasn’t won a lot of big non-conference matchups in recent years, they’ve been competitive in almost all of those games.
Nevertheless, there is a strong bias in favor of other conferences when it comes to rankings and deciding who gets into the playoffs and who doesn’t. In a normal season, if UW is a top-6 team, they’re almost certainly going to get snubbed in favor of a team like Oklahoma or Georgia. Since the existence of the playoffs, a Pac-12 team has only been in it twice. Expansion would benefit the Pac-12 more than any other conference.
I like Jimmy Lake’s idea the best. A six-team playoff and the five Power-5 conference champions should be locked in with the sixth team being the best independent or Group of 5 school in the country. Lets take most of the subjectivity out of it and let the conference champions decide who the national champion is. It’s bullshit for teams who didn’t even win their own conference to have a chance to win the national title.
Personally, I’m so sick of every week throughout the entire season being about the playoff drama. That’s all it has become now. It’s all about “who’s in and who’s out?” and “how does this loss affect this teams playoff chances?”. It’s so fucking redundant it’s nauseating. I’d like to get back to just appreciating each individual game for what it is instead of what it means for the playoffs. Conference champions being locked in as playoff teams would end that shit.
I’d also like for UW’s playoff chances not to be destroyed the first game of the season if they lose to a quality nonconference opponent. For teams with legit playoff expectations, the season shouldn’t be over after one loss. Let these kids continue to get better and battle to win their conference championship with that championship being their ticket to the playoffs. And I really don’t give a fuck if a 3-loss conference champion is in the playoffs. If a team wins their conference after taking some losses, it’s because they got better and they’re no longer the same team that lost those games in previous weeks. Sure, the 3-loss team would probably get blown out but how is that different from the current system? We see playoff blow outs every year. But how much more fun would it be to see a 3-loss Power-5 team or an undefeated Group of 5 team upset a team like Alabama, Clemson, or Ohio State? The NCAA basketball tournament has the intrigue of massive upsets. The CFP does not and it’s starting to get boring with the same teams in it every year.
Jimmy’s idea would also be great for the Pac-12 because it would level the playing field in terms of recruiting. No longer would West coast recruits feel like they have to go play outside of the Pac-12 to have a chance to compete for a national title. And on top of that, teams around the country that we all know are major cheaters on the recruiting trail can cheat all they want and sign as many 5-stars as they possibly can and still not get into the playoffs if they don’t win their conference. And no matter what, a Power-5 program that doesn’t cheat on the recruiting trail, will always have a guaranteed chance to make the playoffs. That’s leveling the playing field.