The first year of the four team College Football Playoff was a success, but it seems inevitable that the field will expand sooner than later, now that the sport has moved on from the BCS. After his Horned Frogs were left out of the four team field in 2014, TCU’s Gary Patterson is a natural proponent of expansion, and he would like to see an eight team playoff. Rather than have teams play 16 games in a season, Patterson proposes that the leagues do away with conference championships and replace them with the playoff quarterfinals on the calendar. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd has more:
“If you’re going to an eight-team playoff, you’re going to take the [conference] championship away,” he said. “And they’ll be OK with it because with eight teams that’s going to make up [financially] for the championship game anyway.”
Per Patterson’s suggestion, four quarterfinal games would be played (this year) on Saturday, Dec. 5. That would give coaches time to recruit and for players to take finals. The semifinals would then commence as they are now in that Dec. 31 – Jan. 1 window.
“You have to play the quarters early,” Patterson said. “Everybody has finals, everybody has stuff that is going on. If you have an early signing date, you’ve got to play it then.”
Losing the conference championships is probably easier for Patterson, who coaches in the Big 12, to propose, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the tournament bumps up to eight teams at some point. A six team playoff also seems like a possible compromise.