The past week and a half there has been a minor ground swelling of conference commissioners and athletic directors questioning if a four-team playoff is the correct way to crown a college football champion.
The latest to speak out is Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis who told SirusXM College Sports Nation (via Eye On College Football) about how a four-team playoff may not be the best option:
"I'm not so sure that four is the right answer," Hollis said. "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."
Hollis is correct in saying that it will "be interesting to watch that process" in that there will be even more posturing for teams positioned in the fifth, sixth and even seventh spot to make a claim to be included in the top four spots. Expanding beyond four teams is inevitable, and increasing the tournament even to as many as 16 will still provide for a great post season tournament.
The College Football Playoff is locked into 2026-27 and ESPN's deal does not include any clause to reevaluate the number of teams to be included in a playoff. The reasoning is that those who made the deal want to make it last through their retirement, at least that is public perception.
Hollis joins Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson who said he doesn't know how long a playoff will stay at just four teams, and also Texas AD DeLoss Dodds who prefers an eight-team model.
As long as there are public comments from athletic directors and league commissioners discussing the topic of expanding a playoff beyond four teams there could be a chance to at least get the right people to take a look at increasing the playoff field..