Air Force’s Troy Calhoun Has A Unique Option To Expand The College Football Playoff
Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun has an idea to expand the College Football Playoff to eight teams, but he has a twist to include the Group of Five teams
A Group of Five Playoff to get into the College Football Playoff?
Ever since the College Football Playoff was announced a few years ago there has been a clamor to increase the field from four teams. Currently, the College Football Playoff is entering its fourth year of a 12-year contract and with a four-team format.
With media days ramping up the representatives from the College Football Playoff will make the rounds and the question about expanding the field is always asked. The answer always seems to be the same.
“There is no talk about expansion of the field,” College Football Playoff director Bill Hancock told reporters during SEC Media Days. “Why monkey with a good thing? Four lets us keep the focus on the regular season.”
More games means more money and remember Hancock was in charge of the BCS in which he always championed the value of the regular season and that two teams worked best. It works best until something better comes along and usually that means more money.
There are a lot of options tossed out on how to expand the playoff, and even some talk about a Group of Five playoff since it will be nearly impossible for a non-power team to crack one of the four spots.
This is where Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun comes in with his different take for an eight-team playoff model. Calhoun’s initial idea is not far off from others where the field includes each power conference champion, the best Group of Five team and two wild card spots.
However, Calhoun has a twist about how to choose the Group of Five representative in which there would be a four-team playoff to get to the main field of eight.
“I think it would, really, bring a wholeness that would be splendid for the spirit of college football,” Calhoun told The Colorado Springs Gazette while at a Colorado Rockies game.
Calhoun wants the College Football Playoff to be more open and hopes to see a Cinderella team make a run in the playoff as can happen with the NCAA Tournament in basketball.
Listening in on Calhoun’s pitch was Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre but he is unsure about expanding the regular season. However, if his team were to make the College Football Playoff then MacIntyre would be fine playing a few extra games. Ultimately, the Buffs head coach is of the idea that the playoff will grow at some point.
“I think eventually it will expand a little bit,” MacIntyre said. “I like the way it’s structured within the bowl system. The bowls are still the pageantry of college football and something I think keeps communities involved in college football. Once you take that out, then I think you’ll see a lot of communities fall away from college football and they’ll keep turning to pro football, I really do.”
Calhoun’s idea of having Group of Five teams play for a shot at a playoff berth is a new angle on expansion, but he did not elaborate if that needed to be a conference champion or just take the four best teams from the non-power leagues.
Going with conference champions only would leave out one Group of Five league every year, but if it is the best four that could lead to perhaps two teams from one conference getting in and leaving out even more conferences. That was and will be a concern for the current playoff format but there has yet to be two power conferences represented in the four-team field.
This would also lengthen the regular season by at about a month with these extra Group of Five games, and playing those two extra weeks would push the post season well into January and with an increased playoff field of eight teams the college season could very likely end around the time of the Super Bowl.
This is what a Group of Five playoff would have looked like last year.
No. 4 South Florida at No. 1 Western Michigan
No. 3 Boise State at No. 2 Temple