What Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said about proposed College Football Playoff expansion to 12 teams
OXFORD — Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin is a fan of expanding the College Football Playoff.
A sub-group of the College Football Playoff committee made a recommendation to expand the number of teams in the playoff from four to 12 last week. This potentially sets into motion the expansion of opportunities for teams to play their way into a championship.
Kiffin, entering his second season at Ole Miss, supports that type of expansion.
"I mean, it's great. It's more opportunities," Kiffin said. "Like everything there are other issues with timeframes and stuff like that. But I do think it's good. Like basketball, what if you only had the one seeds in basketball? There'd be a lot of people that never won the championship that would've won the championship and vice versa."
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The committee's recommendation would expand the playoff to include the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids for the next six highest-ranked programs by the College Football Playoff committee, regardless of conference affiliation. The four highest-ranked conference champions would get automatic byes into the second round while seeds 5-8 would host seeds 9-12 on their campuses for the first round of the playoff.
Kiffin didn't comment on the specifics of that proposal but did say he supports the idea of adding more teams into the mix. When Kiffin was an assistant coach at Alabama, he helped lead three teams to the College Football Playoff.
He used the example of No. 1 Alabama's loss to No. 4 Ohio State in the 2014 College Football Playoff as an example of why adding more teams is a good idea as a way of cushioning the playoff against the possibility of the committee having bad perception.
"How does a playoff committee know?" Kiffin said. "I've seen a year where they went 1-2-3-4 and then 4 beat 1 and 3 beat 2 and then 4 beat 3. It's not easy to figure out."
Under the playoff proposal, Ole Miss would've been included in the 2014 College Football Playoff. Ole Miss finished ninth in the final College Football Playoff rankings that season. In that situation, Ole Miss likely would've traveled to No. 8 Michigan State.
One year later, Ole Miss would've been the odd team out in this proposal. The 2015 Rebels finished No. 12 in the College Football Playoff standings but there were not six conference champions ranked ahead of them. In that scenario, No. 18 Houston would've taken the final spot and faced No. 5 Iowa instead of Ole Miss.
The 2021 Ole Miss football season begins Sept. 6 in Atlanta against Louisville. Kiffin led the Rebels to a 5-5 record in his first season.
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