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Baylor AD predicts CFP will expand to 8 teams within 5 years

WACO, Texas -- Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw, one season after seeing his Bears left on the doorstep of the inaugural College Football Playoff, believes the national championship tournament will expand from four teams to eight within the next five years.

"I think we'll get there," McCaw said Wednesday. "Once we get there, we'll say, 'Why didn't we do this from day one?' I would think within five years would be my hope."

The Bears, co-champions of the Big 12, finished the 2014 regular season 11-1 and No. 5 in the final CFP ranking. Ohio State, which edged out Baylor and Big 12 co-champion TCU for the fourth spot, went on to win the national title.

"If you're [No.] 9 or 10, it's hard to argue you should be national champion," McCaw said. "But right now, if you're No. 5, and you're a conference champion, and you get left out, you can make a pretty good argument that you could have done what Ohio State did last year and win a national championship."

The Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and ESPN are in the second year of an agreement that expires after the 2025 season, which means the CFP contract would need to be rewritten no later than the halfway point of its 12-year term. McCaw cited Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford "and other administrators" as supporters of an eight-team playoff.

Swofford said last fall that an eight-team field would be "ideal." In April, Swofford said that eight teams is not "reality" and that four teams are "right where we should be, and I think that's where we will be for the duration."

The College Football Playoff has said it intends to keep the tournament at four teams.