Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly wants an eight-team format for the College Football Playoff.
"The conference championships, and how does that play into the eight-team playoff and the extension of the season? Do you lose the conference championship games? Is there an additional game? Now you start moving this thing into late Janaury. Is that feasible?," Kelly said. "If you give up conference championship games, obviously that's a financial consideration. That's a little bit above my pay grade, but I know that those are the things that would be impediments to eight."
When asked if he would favor eight, Kelly said "absolutely".
While Kelly's suggestion would make for an awfully exciting winter in college football, it's complicated even beyond his explanation. The CFP's television contract with ESPN extends through 2025, making it less likely the format could be altered before 2026. The four-team format enters its second year after this season.
For now, Kelly and Notre Dame must vie with the Power Five conference champions for four playoff berths. Notre Dame was ranked fifth in the initial CFP rankings last week, and could move up Tuesday night. Four of the Power Five conferences have a championship game and thus a 13-game schedule. Notre Dame, as an independent, plays a 12-game schedule that Kelly defended.
"If they'd let me play a 13th game, I'd play a 13th game. But they just won't let me play a 13th game as an independent," Kelly said. "I would say my 12 games, and the strength of my 12 games, and the wins I'll have in my 12 games, are better than the 13 games that other schedules have shown."