It won't stay at 4 teams for long. 16 is inevitable. 11 conference champs plus 5 at-large seeds is where this all ends up. Unless all conferences further consolidate to 14-16 team leagues, which will make the number of conference champs 8. 8 champs plus 8 at-larges. But 16 is where we're headed.
I've been pretty adamant in other threads... I don't believe there should be any at-large berths until all the conference champs have had a shot. Until the bracket is larger than the number of conferences, then it should be closed to conference champs only.
The university presidents won't allow a 16 team playoff because of "academics." For some reason Divisions 1-AA (FCS), 2, and 3 can have 16 or more schools participate in a playoff, but the big difference is those divisions don't have lucrative bowl games that bring in money to their universities. The FBS university presidents just don't want to lose all that bowl money. I do agree with coaches and athletic directors that a 16 team playoff would be physically tough on the participants, especially those that made it to the semi-finals and finals, but that has been done by all the other divisions for years. Some say that they should reduce the regular season back to 11 games and have an 8 or 16 game playoff, but that will never happen because that 12th game usually brings in lots of much needed revenue for most football programs.
As long as the bowl games exist, there won't be an 8 or 16 team playoff. The only way I see a 16 team playoff is if existing bowl games can be incorporated into the playoffs, but that would get messy too. A 4 team playoff looks like the only choice at this point and no one seems to agree on what 4 teams are to participate.
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