Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach looks beyond 12-team playoff

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While some coaches and players around college football have come out against an expanded 12-team playoff, Mississippi State coach Mike Leach wants even more participation.

Asked whether 12 teams is enough, Leach said Wednesday, “It’s never enough.”

“But I’ll tell you what,” he said, “Mark Keenum, our president, is on that committee, so I know they’re in good hands. I think that part is outstanding.

“I think 12 teams is a huge step in the right direction. I personally would like to see 64, and you could map it out pretty easily.”

UNC coach Mack Brown said earlier this month that his team isn’t in favor of the 12-team model.

North Carolina linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel told ESPN that nobody on the team raised his hand in favor of a 12-team playoff, adding that while a few players preferred to stay at four, the majority was split between six and eight teams.

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday that he and his players aren’t in favor of the expansion to 12 teams either but added that the move was “inevitable.”

“Our team isn’t for it,” Swinney said. “They don’t want to play more games. And, to be honest with you, I don’t know if there’s 12 teams good enough. So you’re going to play more games just to play more games. And I think the more you expand it, the less important the season becomes and the more you become the NFL, as far as all right, you’re in the playoffs? Well, you know, why play Trevor [Lawrence] in this game if you’re already in? All of a sudden you’re not in the top 12 and kids just aren’t playing.”

Last month, the College Football Playoff announced that it will consider expanding from four to 12 teams.

The proposal, which was written by a subcommittee composed of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, calls for the four highest-ranked conference champions to be seeded 1-4 and receive a first-round bye.

Teams 5-12 would play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team. The quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in bowl games, and the national championship game would remain at a neutral site.

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