Conventional wisdom has coalesced around the idea that an expanded playoff will mean more competitive title games. That claim is not supported by the evidence.
What was great about the BCS system (and mostly the current 4-team playoff) is that almost every regular-season game is an elimination game for the top teams. It gives me a reason to tune into regular season games by those top teams. But with 12 teams in, the top teams would need catastrophic results to miss the playoffs, so why bother paying attention to their regular season?
I never just tune in randomly to watch Duke basketball. But maybe I would if something were actually on the line for them, especially in a way that then had downstream implications for the whole sport.
I just keep coming back to how four is the right number. It keeps the regular season as extremely important while making sure we avoid the very worst scenarios we had in the BCS. We've seen years where there were more than two teams that deserved a shot at the national title, but we've basically never seen (and will never see) one where five do.
This probably doesn't end up in a scenario where teams completely punt regular season games, but it moves us closer towards such a scenario, and man, if I wanted to watch the NFL, I would.
I should add though, this whole thing about hard cases making bad law cuts both ways. The fact is Georgia was just really good this year. Sure, not every game they played was a blowout. But who's to say some version of this championship game wouldn't have happened under any system?
Agreed. I have said for years that if they expand it, they should make it 6 creating a bye for the top 2 teams. If you can't make the to 6, you probably have no business in the playoff.