All 10 conference champions should be in a playoff. They won their conference, and that should mean something. A place in the tournament is a suitable reward for accomplishing that goal
Keeping in mind that limiting it to the conference champions leaves out some really good teams that are better than half of those conference titleholders. So, add the six best teams, as determined by a committee -- just like the CFP is done today -- to the tournament. Have #1 host #16, #2 host #15, and so on. Losers in the first round still get an opportunity to go to a bowl game.
The winners would advance to the next round, with the highest surviving seed hosting the lowest surviving seed, and so on. That leaves four teams left, and those teams would meet up New Year's, just like the CFP does today. The difference is, the final four got there by winning a playoff game, not solely by a committee vote.
Seeding, to me, should be the conference champs first -- similar to how the NFL does division champs first -- with the Wild Card teams rounding it out. This year, for example, Georgia didn't win their conference, but are considered one of the best by the CFP. They would be in the playoffs, but behind Northern Illinois, for example, since NIU won their conference.
Some won't like putting NIU and UAB above Michigan, but they won their conference. Besides, putting all ten conference champs higher will make for some better games. I mean, which is a better game: Alabama playing NIU or Penn State? App State playing Clemson or UAB?
Here are the seedings, listing the teams, the conference championship if applicable, record, and CPF ranking (or other as noted):
- Alabama (Southeastern) (13-0) (#1)
- Clemson (Atlantic Coast) (13-0) (#2)
- Oklahoma (Big 12) (12-1) (#4)
- Ohio State (Big Ten) (12-1) (#6)
- Central Florida (American) (13-0) (#8)
- Washington (Pac-12) (10-3) (#9)
- Fresno State (Mountain West) (11-2) (#21)
- Appalachian State (Sun Belt) (10-2) (#30 Coaches)
- Alabama-Birmingham (Conference USA) (10-3) (#34 Coaches)
- Northern Illinois (Mid-American) (8-5) (--)
- Notre Dame (12-0)(#3)
- Georgia (11-2) (#5)
- Michigan (10-2) (#7)
- Florida (9-3) (#10)
- Louisiana State (9-3) (#11)
- Penn State (9-3) (#12)
This gets everybody that can make a case for being included a chance to prove it. Whoever wins out from that pool of teams is worthy of being called national champions.