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The College Football Playoff begins this weekend

TCU Baylor2

ESPN.com's story revealing that a presidential oversight committee had rubber-stamped a four-team playoff had been formally approved, bringing the playoff from an idea to a long-awaited reality, posted at 5:14 p.m. ET on June 26, 2012. By 5:15 p.m., a commenter suggested moving it to eight teams.

The idea that the College Football Playoff should expand to eight is literally as old as the playoff itself, but here's what the expansion crowd didn't realize: the eight team playoff already exists.

Check out this weekend's schedule:

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Not one ticket has been punched yet. There's no Rory McIlroy in this clubhouse, signing his scorecard and waiting for his trophy. Each of the top seven teams and eight of the top nine are in action on the final weekend of the regular season. If No. 1 Alabama loses, it's out of the Playoff. Same for No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 TCU, and No. 4 Florida State. TCU may be out even with a win.

Win and you reach the semifinals, lose and you don't. That, my friends, is a quarterfinal.

No, it's not a pure bracket that many want. It's much messier than that. But that's the beauty of college football; it's always been a mess.

The College Football Playoff has done a lot of things wrong - that list grows weekly - but they got this one right. They gave us an eight-team playoff wrapped in a four-team bracket.