Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw predicts the tournament will grow to include eight teams within five years, though the playoff committee has said it does not have plans for expansion.
In 2014, the playoff's inaugural year in its current format, the playoff selection committee chose four teams to compete through a single elimination bracket. McCaw predicts the tournament will grow to include eight teams, though the playoff committee has said it does not have plans for expansion.
“I think we'll get there,” McCaw told ESPN on Wednesday. “Once we get there, we'll say, ‘Why didn't we do this from day one?’ I would think within five years would be my hope.”
The agreement between the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and ESPN expires in 2025, and a new contract will likely need to be drafted within six years.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford has also spoken out in support of an eight-team playoff, but he does not believe any changes will be introduced before the expiration of the current contract, he said in July.
Ohio State beat Oregon last year to become national champions. Baylor and TCU were not selected to the playoff, despite both being crowned Big 12 champions. Baylor was ranked No. 5 behind Ohio State at No. 4.
“If you're [No.] 9 or 10, it's hard to argue you should be national champion,” McCaw said. “But right now, if you're No. 5, and you're a conference champion, and you get left out, you can make a pretty good argument that you could have done what Ohio State did last year and win a national championship.”
Sports Illustrated has Baylor at No. 6 in its preseason rankings.
- Erin Flynn