Expand the playoff to eight? Not so fast, ESPN analyst says

Adding four more teams might not have changed the Alabama-Georgia matchup, according to Chris Fowler.
Published Jan. 3, 2018|Updated Jan. 3, 2018

This bowl season has given proponents of an expanded College Football Playoff plenty of ammunition.

UCF beat Auburn to finish as the nation's only undefeated team. Big Ten champion Ohio State – which was edged by Alabama for the final playoff spot – topped USC by 17.

ESPN's Chris Fowler isn't yet convinced.

"I'm an advocate of keeping it at four for a while to see how things play out," Fowler said Wednesday morning during a conference call to promote Monday's Georgia-Alabama title game. "We're pretty young in the process. Are we headed in that direction in the future? Perhaps."

Fowler said he hasn't yet heard a great idea for how to expand the playoff without damaging the overall product. And even if it did expand, Fowler wondered if it would have mattered in the end.

One popular eight-team playoff model would have the top four seeds hosting the first round.

"Which of those four teams that we saw Monday are going to lose home game to a UCF?" Fowler said. "We don't know…but I think there's a good chance you probably would have had the same four teams get through those games."