Dabo Swinney says he is not in favor of CFP expansion
Clemson would have been left out of the College Football Playoff this year if the season ended when the first official rankings were released, and Dabo Swinney was openly irritated about that. However, it was not enough to make him think the playoff field needs to be expanded.
There has been a lot of talk about expanding the College Football Playoff to eight teams in the coming years, but Swinney is not in favor of it. He reiterated his stance on Friday and said he thinks the current system is a “cool setup.”
Clemson HC Dabo Swinney on the current playoff format:
“We have a really cool setup in college football. Me, personally, I’m not for expansion of the playoff. I just like the tradition of bowl games. I think the committee has gotten it right since they started it.” pic.twitter.com/OBnGl3AQam
— Carson Field (@CarsonDField) December 27, 2019
A poll earlier this season asked 62 head coaches if they would be in favor of expanding the playoff, and Swinney was among the 23 who said they don’t want it. The two-time national champion feels the regular season would become less important if there were more playoff teams.
“The more you expand, the less the season matters, especially if a team so-called already in the playoff, well, now you’re going to have people not playing guys, just like you have in all these other sports,” Swinney said. “All of a sudden, games don’t matter because everybody is just playing for the playoff and they’re in. What we have is the best of both worlds.”
As long as he stays at Clemson, four playoff teams should be enough for Swinney. The Tigers are in the ACC and play a much weaker schedule than teams from other conferences like the SEC, so they have an opportunity to run the table every year. Even if they don’t and lose one game, they still have a good chance to get into a four-team playoff most years.
While it does not sound like playoff expansion will come anytime soon, Jim Harbaugh proposed an interesting system that sounds like it could work. Swinney is happy with things just the way they are, which is not a surprise given his situation.