ESPN Analyst Not In Favor Of Expanding Playoff

Matt Stinchcomb is opposed to expanding the College Football Playoff – for many reasons

Reiter Than You
September 13, 2018 - 9:33 pm

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For years, college football fans clamored for a playoff. Then they got it.

Then they clamored for a bigger playoff.

ESPN college football analyst Matt Stinchcomb, though, is just fine with the current format. For him, four teams are plenty.

“I’m not a huge fan of (expanding the playoff),” Stinchcomb said on Reiter Than You. “I’ve heard guys argue that it wouldn’t compromise the regular season, but what you don’t want to have happen in college football is what has effectively happened in college basketball – where the field becomes diluted just by sheer volume.”

While six or eight is a far cry from 68, Stinchcomb’s point is well-taken. He also doesn’t like that college football requires two teams to play 15 games. Another round would make it 16 games.

“Already college football has grown for at least two teams to effectively be an NFL season,” Stinchcomb said. “You got 12 regular-season games, you play a conference championship, you play (two playoff games) – that’s 15. Younger players are contributing more and more in meaningful ways, if not starting right away. A lot of guys are game ready, which is a testament to the systems that are being run and the quality of high school players and coaches. But you’ve got true freshmen – so they’re 18 years old most likely – that are playing an NFL season? I don’t know that that’s the greatest idea to try to expand that yet another round of games.”

Whether it’s four teams or eight teams, know this: Alabama will probably be there. The Tide have reached the College Football Playoff all four years and are ranked No. 1 in the country yet again.

The scariest part? Nick Saban might have the best quarterback of his career in Tua Tagovailoa.

“He’s definitely, I think, the most unique from a skill standpoint,” Stinchcomb said. “They haven’t had a quarterback like him yet at Alabama. They got a guy in Blake Sims that, no question, was a talented runner and proved to be more than serviceable in the passing game. A lot of that is the guy he’s throwing to in Amari Cooper. Part of that is a function of a pretty darn good play-caller on the sideline. But to have a guy that can do both, which is what Alabama has in Tagovailoa, then I think that is a departure from what we’ve seen in the past from a skillset standpoint for Nick Saban at quarterback.”