Jan 3, 2022 - Sports

Semifinal blowouts reinvigorate CFP expansion debate

Georgia fans celebrating the Bulldogs' dominant win.

Georgia fans celebrating the Bulldogs' dominant win. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Alabama and Georgia will meet in next week's CFP national championship — the second such meeting in four years, and the second game between the SEC rivals in five weeks.

CFP semifinals: While three of the seven CFP title games have been classics, the semifinals have been horrible. That trend continued this year, increasing the average margin of victory in CFP semifinals to 21 points.

What they're saying: Friday's blowouts reinvigorated the playoff expansion debate.

  • On one hand, expansion seems wise. The CFP is everything now, soaking up the media oxygen and devaluing other bowls. It must deliver drama, and a larger field helps guarantee that.
  • On the other hand: "Friday's games hardly made the case that more games are needed to get down to the two best teams," writes WSJ's Laine Higgins (subscription).

The last word, via The Athletic's Chris Vannini, who favors a 12-team model that would give us eight additional games (subscription):

"Expansion won't change who wins in the end. It'll probably continue to produce lopsided semifinal results. But the College Football Playoff is supposed to be the climactic moment of the sport, and it's just not."
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