No talks of expanding 4-team bracket, playoff director says

First Posted: 1/9/2015

DALLAS — There has been no discussion among the group that runs the college football playoff about adding more teams.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Friday that there were plenty of reasons why a four-team model was picked, and nothing has changed that after the first of a 12-year contract.

“We know we were able to keep the regular season and keep the bowls, keep the experience and the tradition of the bowls,” Hancock said. “So this worked out really, really well. We couldn’t be happier.”

Larger brackets were toyed with when the playoff concept was first being put together. But some things are preventing an expansion: notably, more travel for teams and fans and the locations for extra games.

As for the committee selecting the teams, there could be fewer meetings with fewer rankings next season, though those will still be in person.

That committee gathered seven times over a six-week period this season at a resort hotel near the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. The group put out its initial ranking after meeting in late October, and the final one that determined the teams in the first four-team playoff came the first weekend in December.

“With a shorter season, I think it will be pretty easy to lop off one week and we might knock another one off,” Hancock said, noting there are 14 weeks, instead of 15, between season openers and conference championship games next season.

Hancock said the playoff group will get together a few weeks after Monday night’s championship game between Oregon and Ohio State to start talking about next year.

“I don’t think there will be significant tweaks,” Hancock said. “If there are changes, I think they will be very minor.”

The process to select sites for championship games after the 2017-19 seasons will begin in February and completed by September. Hancock expects “maybe 12 cities” to bid for those three games, following next year’s game in Phoenix and the 2016 season in Tampa.

“The first time around, we had lots of interest, but I don’t think it had quite dawned on people what a significant event this is and what it’s going to grow into,” Hancock said. “So there will be robust competition among the cities.”

There will be at least one change in the 13-member selection committee. Hancock said the Big 12 will nominate one of its athletic directors to replace Oliver Luck, who left his job as West Virginia’s AD to go to work with the NCAA.

Archie Manning, who took a leave of absence from the committee this season because of surgery, said he has been asked to come back and wants to if he is medically cleared to participate.

Despite the demands of weekly travel for the committee members, Hancock said it is easier to debate in person instead of trying to do occasional conference calls.

“It’d probably help everybody out, but that’s not my deal,” Manning said. “But all the pre-meetings I went to, it didn’t seem like a Skype group. I think that’s what separated them from all the other polls that have ever been is those two days together every week hacking it around. Throwing it out there.”