Is it possible for a Mountain West team to reach the College Football Playoff under its current format? Colorado State coach Steve Addazio doesn’t like the odds.
“It’s going to be hard,” Addazio said. “That’s why I’m a proponent of changing.”
Addazio jumped into the CFP expansion debate Wednesday during a virtual news conference for Mountain West football media days. He did not attend the annual Las Vegas event in person due to an unspecified “family matter” back in Fort Collins. But Addazio spoke for nearly an hour with local media on a variety of topics to preview the upcoming season.
Addazio’s take on widening the CFB field is predictable considering no Group of Five team has cracked the top-four since the BCS got axed. But Addazio said: “I would feel the same way no matter where I was.”
Then he explained why giving 12 teams a title shot would benefit all of college football.
“Enhanced opportunity for everybody is good. I think it gets stale when the same four teams are in the playoff structure each year,” Addazio said. “It will create another level of excitement. I’m for it. But I’m also for the bowl structure. So, I think the ability to weave the two together is important.”
One notable opponent of playoff expansion is Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. The Tigers have reached the CFP in six consecutive seasons with two national titles.
“Our team isn’t for it,” Swinney told reporters recently. “They don’t want to play more games. And to be honest with you, I don’t know if there are 12 teams good enough.”
Transfer issues. Three members of CSU’s 2021 signing class have entered their names into the transfer portal — CB Lathan Adams (Desoto, Texas), QB Chance Harris (Clovis, N.M.) and QB Luke McAllister (Palmer Ridge). None are listed on CSU’s updated summer roster.
McCallister, a three-star prospect, threw for 4,514 yards and 53 touchdowns over a decorated Colorado prep career. He is now committed to play at Hutchison Community College.
Addazio did not specify reasons for any player departures. However, in an era of unprecedented transfer movement within college football, he isn’t surprised.
“This is a new world,” Addazio said. “With the transfer portal right now, guys for various different reasons want to go somewhere else. That’s great. You want them to be happy. … Whatever their reasons are, you just wish everybody the best.”
NIL changes. College football players are cashing in after the NCAA dropped its rules against athletes benefiting from endorsement deals. Alabama coach Nick Saban recently said that Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young is already nearing $1 million in revenue.
“You know that’s all recruiting, right?” Addazio said in reaction to the news report. “Like: ‘Guys in our program, they make this amount of money.’”
Addazio began his critique of NIL changes with a broad statement: “I’m all for kids having an opportunity. I certainly would never want to deny anybody that opportunity.”
But he takes issue with potential “unintended consequences” from allowing college football to become more of a free market.
“I do think that can really create uneven levels of football,” Addazio said. “At certain places, as we’re starting to see right now, in my opinion, this can lead to a very unhealthy environment — in terms of how much money and why it’s changing hands. … I would suspect that this could lead to changes in the structure of college football. But I don’t know. There are a lot of unknowns here.
“Where does it end?”