Playoff coaches believe four-team field preferable but not perfect

Georgia's triumph over Auburn last weekend in the SEC championship game also essentially served as a play-in game to college football's four-team playoff. Had the Bulldogs won with an eight-team format in place, both title-game participants would be in the playoff field, as would Alabama.

In his five years as a defensive back in Georgia's program, Kirby Smart experienced two trips to the Peach Bowl and one journey to the Outback Bowl.

Smart has his alma mater in the College Football Playoff in just his second season as head coach of the Bulldogs, but he remembers being a redshirt junior in 1997, when Georgia followed up a 9-2 regular season with a 33-6 demolishing of Wisconsin in Tampa. Such experiences, he believes, would be lessened if the current four-team playoff format was expanded to eight or 16 teams.

"Speaking as a former student-athlete, some of my greatest memories were those bowl games that mattered to a 10-win season," Smart said, "and you would devalue that as you increase the number of teams in the playoff. Right now, we value the end of the season.