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College Football

Athletic Directors Favor Expanding College Football Playoff



The potential expansion of the four-team College Football Playoff has been a popular topic for college sports fans since the playoff was first instituted in 2014.

According to a recent survey by Stadium Network, it’s also popular amongst NCAA athletic directors.

The Stadium survey of 112 athletic directors found that 88 percent of FBS athletic directors would like to see the playoff field expanded when the current contract ends following the 2025 championship. Of Power Five conference athletic directors, that number was only slightly smaller at 83 percent.

Among those that think there should be an expansion, the vast majority preferred an eight-team playoff, with 72% of all respondents preferring that option.

When it comes to the makeup of those eight teams, there was also a great deal of consensus, with 66 percent of all athletic directors believing and eight-team playoff should consist of the five Power Five champions, the highest-ranked Group of Five team and two at-large bids.

If that scenario had been in place since the beginning of the playoff, here are the teams that would have made it that did not:

2014: Baylor, TCU, Mississippi State, Boise State
2015: Iowa, Stanford, Ohio State, Houston
2016: Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Western Michigan
2017: Ohio State, Wisconsin, USC, UCF
2018: Georgia, Ohio State, UCF, Washington
2019: Georgia, Oregon, Baylor, Memphis

There is less agreement when it comes to where those extra games should be played, with the respondents nearly evenly split between holding the new quarterfinal round on campuses or on neutral sites.

Playing extra games on campus into December could prove challenging for northern teams that are used to their stadiums being closed for the offseason by that point. But potentially playing four natural site games in a row when factoring conference championship games, a quarterfinal, semifinal and then the championship could depress attendance.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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2 years ago

There will be more players who are draft eligible not playing in the expanded playoffs. So you get some watered down games. Even if you paid them they’d be risking too much.

Sec. 122
Sec. 122
2 years ago

I don’t care who plays in 90% of bowl games. Call it a playoff game where winner advances and now I’m watching.

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