Dye-Gest: Halfway There On Playoff Format

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about the playoffs and Auburn's bowl trip.

Previously I had written that the new college football playoff would work best featuring eight teams, not four, and what happened this year is a prime example why I feel that way. In my opinion, TCU and Baylor, the highest rated teams that were left out of the final four, are certainly deserving to be in the playoff.

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With just four spots available, it didn’t make any difference which teams were left out from the top six group--there was going to be controversy. I understand there would still be complaining by teams missing out in an eight-team format, but I am firmly convinced all of the teams that truly deserve to be in the hunt for a national title would make it into the field if eight teams were chosen.

For this year it is disappointing for TCU and Baylor that they aren’t getting a chance to compete for the title because there is nothing that I have seen from either one that leads me to believe they can’t play with anybody in the country. However, I don’t have any issue with the four teams that made it in the playoff. Each is deserving to be there.

College football has taken a step forward and is halfway there on the best method to determine a true champion. Hopefully, it won't be long before before four more teams are added to the playoff mix.

I like Alabama’s chances of getting past Ohio State in one semi-final game and playing Florida State in the championship round in Texas next month. I believe the Seminoles are a better team than they were early in the season now that they have more of a running threat from their freshman tailback. Florida State’s offensive line has gotten better, too.

Florida State has been hurt a bit on defense, but the long layoff should help. I think FSU’s coordinator, Charles Kelly, has done a good job with the defense and will have his group ready to play well vs. Oregon.

I think Auburn landed in a good spot for its bowl game with a trip to Tampa for a New Year’s Day game vs. Wisconsin. There will be a lot of people tuned in to watch college football that day and that will be a good opportunity for Coach Gus Malzahn to showcase his program.

Despite their struggles in the Big 10 Championship Game vs. Ohio State, I believe Wisconsin will be an opponent the Tigers will have to play well to beat at the Outback Bowl. The Badgers have a big, strong, physical football team and Melvin Gordon is probably the top running back in the country. Wisconsin has a good coach and he is in charge of a football program with a lot of pride. I expect him to have his team ready to play a strong game vs. Auburn in Tampa.

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