Mike Leach wants more teams in the College Football Playoff, but that would hurt sport

The Cougars coach says the field should be bigger than the current four teams, but this isn’t college basketball. Even expanding to eight teams could weaken the regular season and the bowl system.

Mike Leach’s playoff-expansion rant might have been his most entertaining of the season, and considering he’s the best quote in the Pac-12, that’s saying something. There was a Huck Finn reference, an aside about him being unable to find groceries when his wife is watching football, and a call for a 16-team — or possibly 64-team — college football playoff.

It was 10 minutes of unprompted gold that caused much of the country to spit out its drink in delight. Only thing is, his idea wouldn’t be nearly as fun as his speech was.

There is no doubt that when you look around the sports world, the adrenaline spikes exponentially when the playoffs start. TV ratings surge, fan intensity skyrockets, vocal cords take a thrashing.


WSU @ California, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

When I see the reactions to a home run in October, a buzzer-beating jump shot in March, they remind me of something — every college football game.

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If there is one distinction that separates college football from every other sport in the country, it’s the value of that regular season. It’s what prompts those field-rushing moments — like the one we saw in Pullman two Fridays ago — and creates tell-your-grandkids-about memories.

Ask yourself this: Excluding extraordinary circumstances like a pitcher throwing a perfect game or Kobe scoring 81 points, have any of “the greatest games ever played” taken place in the regular seasons of other sports? Not many. In college football, on the other hand, the game of the year could come in September just as easily as it could in January.

Leach doesn’t buy the idea that an increased field would diminish interest or lower TV ratings, but there…

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