‘You cannot ask for more’: CFP director Bill Hancock defends successful four-team Playoff

first_imgNEW ORLEANS — College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock sizes up Monday’s CFP championship game between No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson as well as anybody.”You can’t beat it,” Hancock told Sporting News at CFP championship Media Day. “You cannot ask for more. Two great teams. Strong on both sides of the ball with exceptional quarterbacks. You cannot ask more. These are undefeated great teams.” Hancock said that small-group dominance is nothing new in the sport.”It’s the cycles,” Hancock said. “Go back to the 50s — it was Oklahoma. Through the years, Florida State, Southern Cal, Ohio State — college football has always gone in cycles. To make judgments based on a small sample size is a mistake. My bosses are not going to make that kind of judgment.”Again, nobody can size up the future of the CFP better. At least for a year, there was no legitimate reason to ask for more playoff teams. If the intent is to get the two best teams in the championship game, then it’s hard to argue against back-to-back seasons in which 14-0 teams met for the national championship.MORE: LSU vs. Clemson odds, predictions, betting trendsThe Bowl Championship Series produced six matchups between undefeated teams in 16 seasons — but that was without the extra semifinal. Sometimes, the four-team playoff works out. This is one of those years.”I heard so many people ask the question, and I wondered the same thing,” Hancock said before dialing it up. “Should LSU, Clemson and Ohio State have to play another game to get to the semifinal based on the regular season? Why have another game when you have a regular season to decide it? It was a good year for us.”The truth is the 2019 season did not need another round. LSU beat one-loss Oklahoma in one semifinal, and Clemson handed Ohio State its first loss in the other. While last year’s CFP championship game between Alabama and Clemson featured the eight-team playoff debate as the backdrop with a full-go expansion push, Hancock had a much different demeanor this season.”There was less contention this year obviously,” Hancock said. “People were much more calm and understanding about the reasons why the CFP format is the way it is.”That’s not to say there aren’t a few lingering questions. This year, there was a longer layoff between the Dec. 28 semifinals, played on a Saturday, and the Jan. 13 championship game. Hancock said that was a result of the decision to move the semifinals off the original New Year’s Eve date. There will be a 10-day-or-less gap between the semifinals and championship game through 2026.LSU coach Ed Orgeron and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did not complain.”Both coaches have said they liked it,” Hancock said. “Both these coaches have told us, ‘Y’all tell us when to play and we’ll be there.'”Hancock also addressed secondary ticket prices, which he said are higher than usual. Ultimately, the continued success of the four-team format hinges on the teams that make it to the championship. LSU broke Alabama’s streak of four straight CFP championship game appearances, but Clemson is back in the championship game for the fourth time in six years.last_img read more