The current College Football Playoff contract expires in 2026 and the desire for an expanded bracket is intensifying by many.
This year, NCAA coaches were polled to see if they were in favor of a larger playoff system. The results showed that 30 of the 62 head coaches that answered (LSU's Ed Orgeron, Alabama's Nick Saban and UCLA's Chip Kelly declined to vote) were in support of an eight-team bracket.
Both No. 6 Oregon and No. 8 Wisconsin likely would have been in an eight-team playoff, vying for the national title. Instead, the Pac-12 Champion Ducks (11-2) and the Badgers (10-3) are battling for the 106th Rose Bowl Title. The 'Granddaddy of Them All' is, of course, is a great bowl game with long standing tradition and an opportunity for both teams to end the decade with a substantial win.
While coaches do not have the power to change the current six-year-old format, here is where Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal and Wisconson Coach Paul Chryst, stood on a new format:
I think there's a lot of teams worthy of playing it out… I think anytime you could include more, right, in that particular – in that party, I think it's a good thing. –Mario Cristobal
You'd love to have obviously a six-year cohort and get all the data and see how it worked out and how it really played out. –Mario Cristobal
I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. So I want to make sure that part is clear. –Mario Cristobal
I think there's a lot that goes into it, and we're fortunate there's a ton of people that care about it. And so I'm going to let them figure it out. And like Mario said, this experience that our players get to be a part of, I think if you asked every one of the players, this is very unique, and I know both teams were grateful for it. –Paul Chryst
But just tell us what the rules are, and we'll work and try to do all we can to be the best team we can be. And if we earn the right for whatever it is, you're grateful for that. –Paul Chryst
In the current 12-year, $7.2 billion contract between ESPN and the CFP, nine of the 12 semifinals have been lopsided games. Most recently, No. 1 LSU steamrolled No. 4 Oklahoma, 63-28 in the Peach Bowl semifinal. Maybe two-loss, Pac-12 champion Oregon would have given the Tigers a better game. Maybe not.
So, whether adding more teams is a good decision based on the eye of the beholder, it appears that Coach Cristobal is in favor of the eight-team expansion.