College Football Playoff expansion: Tracking the calls for 8 (or more) teams

Mark Wilson

A number of important people have already gone on record saying they want the College Football Playoff to expand. We'll keep track of the march toward expansion over time right here.

The College Football Playoff exists, and it will have four teams in it. Contracts indicate that the playoff will stay at four teams for about 12 years. However, some people with keys to power in college football have either said that they think the playoff should or will grow past four games. There's also one very, very noticeable person who disagrees.

For starters, let's take a look at all the powerful people who think eight teams is an option -- and in some cases, people who have gone on record saying they think it's a good one.

We'll update this over time, so check back soon!

People who think the Playoff will or should expand

Lloyd Carr, former Michigan coach (MLive.com, July 12, 2012)

I think in the future there's going to continue to be pressure, just like there was in basketball, to continue to raise the number of teams. But I don't have that answer.

DeLoss Dodds, Texas athletic director (Star-Telegram, May 30, 2013)

I'm kind of an eight-team person. I think there will be a lot of conversation about the fifth team that didn't get in or the 11-1 team that didn't get in because somebody's 12-0 that maybe wasn't quite as good as the 11-1 team. If you take eight, then you don't really have that. The ninth team has got a concern. But it's not really like the fifth team.

Mark Hollis, Michigan State athletic director (CBS Sports, June 2, 2013)

I'm not so sure that four is the right answer. I think it's the right answer for the short term. I think you're going to have more teams feel slighted by not being a part of the process than when there were two. Being on the basketball committee, you kind of see that play out. Exponentially, the more teams there are, the more you feel they should have been the ones to get in. It's going to be interesting to watch that process.

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame coach (Star-Telegram, May 6, 2013)

I don’t know that four is where we’re going to finish this thing. I think it’s a great entry into where we want to go. Moving forward, I think the focus will be on whether it’s eight or 16 [teams] or whatever the number is.

Barack Obama, PRESIDENT OF THE DAMN UNITED STATES (ESPN, Nov. 15, 2008)

I think it's about time we had playoffs in college football. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion.

Chris Petersen, Boise State coach, (CBS Sports, May 6, 2013)

I think a playoff system and a four-team structure, no, I don't think anybody's going, 'That is the answer.' But it's moving in the right direction. How do you get an eight-team (playoff)? I think that would be the next really awesome step, and then how do you go even bigger than that? Well, how do we get that all done? We can only play so many games. This is college football. They're students, and you have finals and injuries. I don't have the answers.

David Shaw, Stanford head coach (May 6, 2013)

Craig Thompson, Mountain West Conference commissioner (CBS Sports, May 21, 2013)

I'm probably in the minority in that I don't know we're going to stay at four [teams] for the next 12 years. I know that's what the contracts say and everybody's following the script these days. We'll see. Who knows where we'll be down the road.

Note: he's probably not in the minority.

People who do not think the College Football Playoff will expand

Bill Hancock, College Football Playoff commissioner (April 25, 2013)

Now is also a good time to revisit that time Bill Hancock spent years talking about how awful a college football playoff would hypothetically be, then turned around and became the commissioner of the college football playoff and talked about how great it will be.

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