Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson has almost always gone against the grain compared to other leagues. For example, The Mtn. was the first conference specific network and his want for a college football playoff, or adjustments to the BCS.
Thompson is speaking up once again, this time it is about the upcoming College Football Playoff. So it comes to no shock that Thompson has his doubts that the current format will stay at four teams.
Thompson also obvious likes the playoff since it gives more teams a chance to play for the national title. All of these comments came when he appeared on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (Via Eye on College Football):
"I like it for several reasons," Thompson said. "I've been espousing a playoff (during) the 14-year history of the Mountain West. I testified in Congress. I think it's a great step forward.
"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."
Everyone from ESPN, Bill Hancock and other major conference commissioners are on board for keeping the playoff at four teams for the duration of the 12-year contract. While they want to keep it small to keep it inclusive to the power leagues, plus those in charge now are likely not going to be around for the next rounds of negotiations.
Here is a quote from a higher up at ESPN about the contract length toward the playoff:
"The commissioners and presidents wanted to go long because they wanted to stop further speculation about eight teams and 16 teams," ESPN boss John Skipper said earlier this year.
The four-team playoff is in place through the 2026-27, but things can definetly change. Thompson obviously wants a larger playoff so that his league champion can get into the mix, because right now the Mountain West is on the wrong side of the five power conferences. If a playoff were to be at eight teams then there would be a realistic chance that the league champ could get in most of the time.
As it stands now, a Mountain West team will need an amazing year by, obviously, going 13-0, hope that they are ahead of at least two league champions from the power leagues and a SEC team to just have a chance.
Here is the full interview: