Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney opposed college football’s transition from the BCS to the College Football Playoff in 2014 and unsurprisingly doubled down against the idea of CFP expansion to 12 teams.
In June this year, the CFP Management Committee announced a plan to expand the playoff from four teams to 12. The CFP Board of Governors still needs to approve the plan when it is officially presented in September.
The decision to expand the playoff to 12 teams rather than six or eight shocked a lot of people in the college football world. But Swinney was not surprised or particularly excited about the plan.
“I’m not surprised, I’m not for it but I wasn’t for the four team. I don’t ever get it right,” Swinney said Tuesday at the Clemson Media Outing. “We just have to keep on keeping on. Back when I was asked before the playoff started, I wasn’t for that either. I love the college game and I remember when it was a big deal to be in the top 25, top 15, top 10 and win your bowl game.”
The main reason given by the management committee for expanding the playoff was giving more teams a seat at the table and limiting parity in the sport.
Swinney is not worried about missing out on the playoff but feels like the rapid expansion takes focus away from what makes college football great, the regular season.
“I knew when it went to four it would be all about the playoff and when it goes to 12 it will be even more about the playoff. Some people will say well you guys are in the thing,” Swinney said. “Well, if we are in at four, we’ll get in at 12 our odds aren’t going to go down so it’s not about that.”
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips asked member institutions to discuss the proposal with their student-athletes to get a read on how they feel about a longer season.
North Carolina head coach Mack Brown spoke out on July 8 and revealed his players are not thrilled about possibly extending an already grueling season for a long playoff for a national championship.
Swinney echoed this sentiment about his conversations with Clemson student-athletes about the proposition and received similar feedback about lengthening the season.
“The commissioner asked for player input, and I didn’t really know what our players would say but they didn’t get much enthusiasm,” Swinney said. Our guys have a lot of experience playing 14 and 15 game seasons long seasons. Now you’re talking about starting in July and adding games.”