Year after year, month after month, day after day, minute by minute, there are calls to expand college football’s playoff system, consider San Diego State football head coach Rocky Long among the expansionists.
“I think with 4 teams you’re never going to get it right,” said Long when asked if the College Football Playoff committee got it right by selecting Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma for this year’s CFP.
A common call is to expand to 8 teams, but eight’s not enough for coach Long.
“I think with 8 teams you’re never going to get it right, except all the Power 5 leagues will be happy because at least their champion will be in.”
The thinking goes that with an 8 team playoff, the champion of the Power 5 leagues (SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 12) will get automatic bids, with the other 3 teams coming from at-large bids and the highest ranked non-power 5 team.
The Power 5 leagues are not all happy this year, the SEC has a team in the CFP, the Big 12 has a team in, the ACC is in, but the Pac 12 and Big 10 were shut out. One loss Big 10 champ Ohio State has a real case to in, but the CFP committee didn’t see it that way.
Coach Long thinks a snub like this, leaving a premiere pigskin power, a true college football blueblood out, could lead to change.
“I think in the next two years it’s going to 8 teams, because you can’t leave a Big 10 team out, oh my gosh, and you can’t leave a Pac 12 team out, oh my the end of the world is coming. So, I think that those 2 leagues have enough influence in world of college athletics, that one of those Power 5 league teams won’t be left out much longer because they’ll expand to 8 teams.”
Long’s San Diego State football team was just invited to its 9th straight bowl game, but hasn’t come close to being selected to the CFP, nor has any other Mountain West Conference team.
Since the CFP started in the 2014-15 season, the SEC has had six teams in the playoffs, the ACC five, three each for the Big 10 and the Big 12, and two for the Pac 12.
CFP committee members have given no indication that expansion is on the horizon, but that won’t stop the calls for more than four.
We know where Aztecs coach Rocky Long stands, he’s in the more the merrier crowd, only time will tell if his SDSU team ever gets a crack at an invitation to be part of a bigger, and Long says better playoff system.