Paul Johnson’s proposal for an eight-team playoff

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 3: Head Coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets chats with players late in the game against the Alcorn State Braves on September 3, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

For Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, a four-team playoff isn’t enough for college football. Given the platform last week at the ACC Kickoff, he suggested again that an eight-team playoff would be a more equitable alternative.

“I’m an old guy – I came out of the I-AA deal where, if you won your conference, you went to the playoffs,” he said. “I just think you could take more of the subjectivity out of it.”

Johnson was highly successful at Georgia Southern, which won four national championships in I-AA (now FCS) playoffs. The FCS playoffs now includes 24 teams, beginning on Thanksgiving weekend, going three weekends into December and concluding in January.

Johnson’s solution would give automatic berths to the champions of the five power conferences – the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The highest-rated champion from the other five conferences (American Athletic, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt) would also get a bid, as would two wild-card teams.

“At least only the wild cards would be subjective,” he said. (Arguably, the sixth conference champion to gain entry would have to be decided by some method requiring subjectivity, either a computer ranking or a committee.)

Last year, using the playoff selection committee’s rankings as a guide,  the field might have looked something like this:

1. Clemson (ACC champion)

2. Alabama (SEC champion)

3. Michigan State (Big Ten champion)

4. Oklahoma (Big 12 champion)

5. Iowa (wild card)

6. Stanford (Pac-12 champion)

7. Ohio State (wild card)

8. Houston (highest-ranking champion from non-power five).

One likely complaint against an eight-team playoff is that it would extend the season one more week into the spring semester and diminish the importance of the regular season and bowl games. Johnson disputed the problem of extending the season.

Johnson: “You can have an eight-team playoff, and you talk about more games, they didn’t have any problem adding a game (for the four-team playoff) a few years ago. You’re only talking about two teams that would play an extra game anyway.”

The contract for the four-team format extends through the 2025 season.

Reader Comments 0

29 comments
Peach Stealth
Peach Stealth

I like his idea , it gives the G-5 teams something to shoot for.

BTW Ga Southern won 6 1-AA  national championships, not 4. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

No more "retort" i guess...........one can only retort for so long??

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan Honest DF......I believe you have a good shot at beating out UF for second in the East this year!

dawg fan
dawg fan

It's pretty clear what's going on here.  When Clemson and FSU are down and his joke program flukes into an ACC title with their customary 3 or 4 losses he wants a charity handout to the big dance.  This "subjectivity" which Fish Fry speaks of would prevent that from happening.  Fish Fry needs to worry more about having a winning season at this point than the playoffs. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan Shooting for second place in the East this year loserboy? The deliverer and the Chosen one and still going to be irrelevant.....mediocre SEC team that gets pounded by the big boys......Bama at Athens last year was hilarious, almost as entertaining as the Shellacking in the "Swamp"! Thanks for the laughs junior.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket I would retort with witty zingers about Georgia Tech's season but I probably spent a grand total of 5 minutes watching your joke team play last year.  As always nerds, we appreciate your interest in UGA football. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan And remember sport.......CPJ has a winning record against both of those top programs that have played in multiple NC's since the mutts sniffed one......you must be proud.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket Yet somehow our 2-13 record against you past 15 years is hardly ever relevant to nerds  like you.  Go figure.  You can't change the subject fast enough. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan @TOJacket We love the entertainment quality of the mighty dawgs.....that a$$ whooping Bama put on y'all was classic, was it cold out there in that rain at halftime?

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan @TOJacket Excuse me.....I forgot to give you your attaboy for beating a team who seldom has a 4 star recruit much less any 5 stars....we know how proud you are, keep spitting out those NFL Housing majors that never win sheet until they "leave" UGA.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket I would think you would have been more concerned with your own team who was playing a division rival at the exact same time we were playing Bama.  But then I remember  you're a Tech fan and we own your soul and then it all makes since.  Oh, you lost by the way. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket I forgot to give you your atta boy for being a joke program that doesn't recruit well.  Did you guys make rings for that? 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan @TOJacket Can't get 4 and 5 star players who can't spell calculus, much less pass it......but you know that, you just like playing dumb like most of your fan base....at least Malcolm Mitchell learned to read while at UGA.....good job!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan @TOJacket I'm just a Tech fan that enjoyed watching y'all get your a$$ handed to ya!.....by your next head coach to boot!!...lol!!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@OldBlindDawg @TOJacket @dawg fan That was what....a decade ago? I don't think Paul Johnson was here then professor.....but you brought up a good point.....if you can't do the work, you won't "Get Out"!!

bigmacondawg
bigmacondawg

Pajamas coming off 3-9 talking about CFB playoffs. Hilarious

GO DAWGS!

dawg fan
dawg fan

@bigmacondawg  Seriously, this guy and his fans act like he's a  relevant voice in college football.  Hardly anyone outside of the ACC even knows who he is.  True story. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@bigmacondawg What's hilarious is the thought of you mutts coming in 3rd in the East again........now that's funny......you humps probably wouldn't make 8 team SEC playoff if they had one!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan @bigmacondawg He was voted by the CFB coaches as a better Coach than Kirby boy.....guess the coach's know him huh professor.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Coach Johnson is smart........like his team!

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

9 ACC games...1 OoC power 5(UGa)... 1 FCS game. 1 other game(Notre Dame some years). That will sell seats and TV Network.

Lee Cannon
Lee Cannon

Man last year we wouldn't have got in an 80 team playoff....

derickrichards
derickrichards

I think Coach Johnson has a valid concept of how it could work. Those two wild card teams could possibly be one loss teams from one of the power conferences. Extending the season another week is not a problem, certainly less of a problem than the current problem of having teams not playing for more than a month before playing some bowl game that doesn't count. This way we've got four more meaningful games in December and four less games played simply for pride and the chance to look ahead to next season.