Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Ross’ column in which he projects a 12-team college football playoff after three weeks of college football.
DAN WETZEL: All right, Ross, I thought you had a fine little bit this week on si.com, why wait for the 12 team playoff, right? Because this, everyone's kind of fired up right now about the season. What would the 12 team playoff look like right now? I will lay out your bracket, which and then I'll let you defend yourself, because Michigan fans are going to scream at you through their podcast. The way they did on everything else.
Number one, Georgia would play the winner of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, a game between two local rivals. Number five, Penn State would host App State, winner playing Clemson. Number seven, Oklahoma would host Kentucky, winner plays Ohio State in a boring neutral antiseptic place. Because college football has no soul. Number eleven, NC State at number six, Alabama. That's right, get angry.
Winner of Bama, NC State gets USC. And then, yeah, we go the neutral sites. The top four have to be conference champions. That's why Alabama got knocked down.
ROSS DELLENGER: Right, right.
DAN WETZEL: Michigan may be ranked fifth, but you played nobody. You've played a burning heap of garbage. So do you--
ROSS DELLENGER: I think--
DAN WETZEL: Beat Penn State in a couple of weeks.
ROSS DELLENGER: I don't know that has any Power Five not played a Power Five outside of Michigan? I don't-- that's hard to believe through three weeks.
DAN WETZEL: UCLA hasn't. Because their game with Michigan got canceled by Michigan.
ROSS DELLENGER: Ah, yes.
DAN WETZEL: Go ahead.
ROSS DELLENGER: I think there's two things that people need to understand when they look at this because we're going to do this every week. Is we're following by the model that was adopted, which is six automatic qualifiers that are given to the six highest ranked conference champions. And then six at larges, which are given to the next highest ranked teams. And only, like you mentioned, Dan, only the four highest ranked conference champions get a bye.
So only the conference champions get a bye. I'm the selection committee. And I pored over kind of resumes--
PAT FORDE: It's your column baby.
ROSS DELLENGER: That's right. And we kind of used more, we took the polls, we took the results. But really we put an onus on who you played, how you looked when you-- in the result. But who you played was really big. And some things became evident. That there are three like very like the three most important decisions for the selection committee in this new model, this expanded playoff are going to be the fourth best conference champion and the fifth best conference champion.
There might be really small amount of difference there between the two. And one of them's going to get a bye. And one of them's not. And so that's like a big decision factor there. The second big decision is eight, nine seed. Because the eight seed is going to get a home field for the first round, and the nine seed is not. And there could be very-- I mean, look, we have Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Like that was a toss up, whatever. I mean, we're through three weeks.
So we'll have a better idea at the end of the season. But right now there's like no margin hardly separating the eight and nine seed. And then the last thing is the final at large team. I've got 11 seed NC State as the last at large seed in. After I published this, going back and rethinking it, I kind of screwed up on the last at large team. I kind of regret that. I should have put Washington in. I think their resumes better. I think that Washington should have been in instead of NC State probably.
And then the 12 seed, of course, is App State and we deemed that App State was the best group of five team. But that was also a toss up too. We thought about putting Tulane in there. So it's fun to do these things. Right now the margin between these teams, because we're just three weeks in, are just so small. But it's really fun, and you could see how it lays out there like how cool this is going to be and why we should have done this years ago.
DAN WETZEL: I mean an Arkansas home game playoff--
PAT FORDE: That's fantastic.
DAN WETZEL: That's phenomenal.
ROSS DELLENGER: And Tuscaloosa still going with Alabama.
PAT FORDE: What against a team that actually-- I mean, you know, it's happenstance. But it's cool that the opposing team would be able to get their fans there easily as well.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, right. Absolutely incredible setup. Yeah, and, again, I think once they see those first games on campus, and then we move to the second round, and it's-- I mean, look, let's say it's Oklahoma, Ohio State, and you're playing in Miami, right? Ohio State fans sitting there saying, I just paid for the Big Ten Championship game. I got this one, I got a semi, I'm not going.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: I can't go to all these games.
ROSS DELLENGER: I had one commissioner actually tell me that he believes in the next iteration of the playoff. So probably in eight years, ten years, 12 years that he believes that the second round games will be at home.
DAN WETZEL: Oh, 100%.
ROSS DELLENGER: But they are hanging on to the bowls for one more iteration, Dan. They're hanging on one more iteration.
PAT FORDE: I can't believe they're already planning to change the next iteration before the next iterations is here.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, they're all like, well, we should do this.
BOTH: We're not going to.
DAN WETZEL: That's all right. I will not let perfect be the enemy of progress.
ROSS DELLENGER: Right.
DAN WETZEL: This is great.