ACC commissioner John Swofford said he thinks eight "would probably be" the ideal number of teams for the College Football Playoff, according to a report from the The Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C.
The playoff, which is replacing the BCS this season, will include four teams. The winners of two semifinals will meet in the national championship game.
Swofford said he doesn't think the switch to a four-team playoff will bring an end to the controversy surrounding which teams are picked to play for the title.
“I don’t think all the controversy’s going to go away,” Swofford said of the new system. “You have four teams that get a chance to play for the national championship, which is twice as many as before, but whoever’s fifth or sixth is not going to be happy. There will be some conferences that won’t have a team in the playoff.”
Swofford said that academics affected the decision to limit the field to four teams. From the report:
“I do think it has a great deal of potential,” he said. “The question is asked a lot, ‘Why not eight?’ or ‘Will it become eight in a few years?’ I can tell you why not eight, right now: The presidents made the decision as to how far we can go with the playoff, and the bookends are exams in December, and the presidents don’t want football to become a two semester sport. Those concerns are education-based. So I think they’re appropriate.”
In an FAQ on its official website, the CFP addresses the questions of why the playoff is not more than four teams and whether it will expand:
The four-team playoff preserves the importance and the excitement and compelling nature of the regular season, which is the best in sports. It also maintains the tradition of the bowls, which are unique in the American sports culture. The agreements for the four-team playoff extend for 12 years.