Dec 21, 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach in the second half against the Colorado State Rams during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. The Rams defeated the Cougars 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Leach wants College Football Playoff expanded to 16-64 teams


Washington State head coach Mike Leach has never been one to bite his tongue as one of the more outspoken coaches in college football over the last decade-plus, but what the Cougars coach had to say on 104.5 ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge about the new college football playoff may take the cake as the most outlandish.

“In my opinion, the best-case scenario is they’ll expand the playoff. I think the playoff needs to be expanded to between somewhere between 16 and 64, so you really get teams playing each other, and everybody needs to be guaranteed 12 games. However the playoff unfolds and expands, right now, they’re sticking their toe in the water to see how they like it. I think they’re going to like it a lot. I do expect it to be a bigger playoff format. It needs to be big enough that the politicians and committees and someone not informed about a team doesn’t cause them to be out of it. They need enough teams to mitigate that.

Four teams will comprise the playoff and almost immediately after that number was announced there were critics who wanted an expanded field. Go figure that the first time a playoff is introduced to college football fans that it wouldn’t be good enough.

Leach also touched on the ongoing debate over how many conference games each league should play. The Pac-12 plays nine games but the SEC and ACC recently voted to keep their league at eight conference games to the consternation of a few coaches in the Pac-12.

“As they figure out how that’s going to be absorbed, this business of how many conference games, I don’t care if there’s eight or nine, but it’s got to be the same. It’s got to be the same number for all participants eligible for the playoff.”

[h/t Coaching Search]

Tags: College Football Playoff Mike Leach Washington State Cougars

  • Jim Lynch

    First of all, college football has had a playoff for the last 16 years; it has been a two-team playoff. Why does everyone want to ruin college football like all the other sports by making the regular season a bunch of exhibition games and producing illegitimate champions. Four teams is plenty most years and some years, like 2005, it is too many. Check out fbsbracketology.com for system that produces a true champion.

  • Boogie Ondown

    8 teams is ok. 16 is ideal. We all know this and have debated this to death. With 100+ NCAA teams, unbalanced schedules where the rich schools pay for more home games (SEC), games counting against FCS teams, tougher games on the road that good poorer schools have to play (Boise State), and unbalanced TV revenue where the rich get richer…means no way you can stay at 2 and even 4 is a bit unfair. Great for the perennial top 10 schools, but terrible for everybody else. 16 covers all the bases of conference champions and some at large teams from tougher conferences. First game is at home for all the conference champs in the 2nd week of December, first round losers go to minor bowl games after Xmas…surviving 8 play on New Years Day big bowls (Orange, Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton, Peach?), Final 4 can be in one place over two weeks or split and up for bid each year to raise more money, or rotated among the big bowls.

    The playoff money can go to the students/athletes and fund their soon to be increased stipends. Fans would be given discount tickets to the games so you don’t price out fans to each round due to travel. The TV money alone would be incredible and cover a lot of travel and discounts to the fans and students. It should be mandatory that this does not turn into a Super Bowl style game where only the indifferent rich pay $20,000 and go to a game they just want to be seen at, and the fans stay home…none of us want that.

    Sticking with 2 or 4 is just milking the clock so that the NCAA can build up enough frustration so that fans and broadcasters will go nuts and pay all sorts of money to see this on TV. Sticking with 2 or 4 will never be “fair”.