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College football coaches want larger playoff

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Dozens of FBS coaches want to increase the college football playoff to more than four teams

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Each week ESPN does an anonymous poll with all of the FBS coaches -- or at least the one's that will respond -- and this week's poll tackles the amount of playoff teams for college football. This is the first year that FBS has ever had a college football playoff, and the four squad bracket is expected to last the length of its 12-year contract. Playoff director Bill Hancock insists on the playoff staying with four teams for a dozen years.

The bracket is not set and a playoff game has not been played, but there are a lot of coaches that want to expand the system beyond the current four teams.

That's comes out to be 60 percent that want the playoff expanded and of that amount that want more teams eight seems to be the sweet spot. Some responses go even further than just saying how many teams a coach wants.

Of the eight team model, coaches wanted to include all conference champions and then either the next three best at-large teams, or a pair of at-large teams and the highest rated non-power school. That would be great news for a conference like the Mountain West. Odds are that the eight seed would be where that spot would land, but at least there is a seat at the table.

Another interesting take was that a Group of Five coach wanted 16 teams, but instead of taking all 10 conference champions and six at-large, they suggested taking the top eight rated conference champions and than eight at-large spots. That is interesting and would give three auto bids to the Group of Five and allowing access to these leagues, yet still have usually 13 power conference schools in the playoff.

The Group of 5 coaches who voted leaned toward an eight-tame playoff (39 percent within that group). However, 25 percent of the Group of 5 coaches wanted a 16-team playoff. Having more teams means that there are more chances for these coaches to be in the playoff and another reason to either earn a higher salary or go to a power conference school.

One of the more vocal voices is ACC commissioner John Swofford and he feels the power conferences will want more teams so that at the very least none of those champions are left out.

"You have four teams that get a chance to play for the national championship, which is twice as many as before. But whoever's fifth or sixth is not going to be happy. There will be some [Power 5] conferences that won't have a team in the playoff."

This is a nice start that there is pressure being placed upon the playoff already and not just by smaller schools but the big boys as well. Odds are the playoff will change format six years in because at that point each New Year's Day bowl host will have been part of the semifinal rotation.