Solving the 4 Team College Football Playoff Dilemma…In 2026


You ever have one of those ideas where you’re just like…’YES?!’ Then you realize that what you just thought of goes against the grain of logic by which all of this NCAA 4 Team Playoff business is connected with? That it just wouldn’t jive against all the collective wisdom that is brought about by having a Dr. Condoleeza Rice or Dr. Tom Osbourne on that 4 Team Selection Committee?

Does it really matter anyway? Just like the BCS Championship System we’re stuck with a contract. No early termination fees and definitely not for a two year agreement. 12 years we’re going to be stuck with ‘Selection Tuesday Shows’ and ‘Why did the Committee choose this team over that team?’ The whole purpose of having a ‘4 Team Playoff’ was to dispel all of that talk that the BCS brought about. Instead, it has only made it more amplified. Then you realize that having a 13 member ‘Gridiron Algonquin Roundtable’ debate means making money on those arguments. It keeps people’s interest on point. Gets us more involved in whatever team we follow. More Selection Shows. More ad revenue. The ‘4 Team’ is in a sense, a brilliant marketing strategy that entices us to be more active about our teams, which in turn makes us spend more money to be active. Well played NCAA, well played. You’ve just been made though. You gave us ’13 Brains’ so we wouldn’t look past them to see what you’re really cooking up. I’ll argue with you about why there’s 2 SEC West teams in the ‘Final Four’ after the selection committee has spoken because it’s good fodder. It keeps us intrigued but just so you know, The Blitz is on to you.

So without further ado, here now is the solution in 2026, the earliest this can be implemented, brought to you in plain english. If it makes sense, tell us so. We already know it does, no committee needed.

All of the 5 Winners of the Power Conferences

This would dispel most if not all of the arguments that are associated with college football playoff talk and make conference play more heated and viable with one caveat. Now it would take a little mustard away from Non Conference games, but think about this: No more committees. There would still be a ranking system and all we’re asking for is basically one more game, like when an SEC team plays FCS teams in November AND take away the Conference Championship Games. If there are ties within the conference, that’s when the ranking system would come into play, hence the emphasis on the non-conference schedule.

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How Would It All Play Out?

Breaks down like this:

#5 plays #4 on the road for the right to be in the Final Four.

Final Four breaks down just like it is this year. #1 plays #4, #2 plays #3, and those winners play in Title game. Now here’s the caveat that makes this all the more appealing and makes non-conference scheduling more fun. There will still be a ranking system but just because you won your conference but lost 2 non-conference games, you can be replaced by an ‘At-Large’ at the #5 spot based on the Final Rankings. Strength of schedule matters in the Non-Con and if you win those games. Teams like Marshall this year and Boise State in the past would have that shot, albeit slim, to get into the playoff and not only that, but if there is a team from the ‘Power 5’ that had a stellar year as well but didn’t win their conference, in the absence of an undefeated ‘At-Large,’ could also have consideration.

But the bottom line is: Win your conference. Win your non-conference games and try not to be the fifth ranked conference winner in the Final Rankings with losses but more importantly…No More Committees, just AP and Coaches Polls. If there are ties within the conference, the Final Rankings would dispel who’s the conference champion. And as for the money aspect of it, there’s a ton to be made with that extra play-in game and the Roundtable discussions that come from all the great conference matchups. The question is: Will I be available in 2026 to go over this again? Most certainly.