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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy not convinced 12-team playoff is best for college football

Scott Wright

STILLWATER, Okla. — Mike Gundy has never been afraid to be a contrarian.

And the Oklahoma State head coach took that position against the popular national opinion that an expanded college football playoff is good for the game

Speaking on Monday afternoon at his weekly media luncheon, Gundy said he worried about the new agreement, which will go into effect by the fall of 2026, diluting the meaning of the regular season. 

“I don’t think college football is broke, so I’m not sure why we’re trying to fix it,” he said. “The reason college football is a hot commodity and it’s a great stock right now is because every game matters in college football. That’s why people watch it. 

“We gain revenue money by people watching television. We all know that. There’s a risk-reward in everything we do…. You have to be a little careful that you don’t change it to where people aren’t as interested in watching the game.”

Mike Gundy watches from the sidelines during a 58-44 win against Central Michigan on Thursday in Stillwater. It was Gundy's 150th career win as OSU head coach.

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Gundy added that he’s unsure if there will be 12 teams capable of winning a national championship in a typical year, making some early-round playoff games pointless.

“If you just went back and looked at the end-of-the-season rankings prior to the bowl games over the last 10 years, eight years, is there really 12 teams that you say, ‘Hey, they can legitimately win the national championship,’” Gundy said. “If not, then we shouldn’t really have them playing for it.”

Based on CFP rankings (and Associated Press rankings before the creation of the CFP in 2014), OSU would have made a 12-team playoff three times in the Gundy era (2011, 2016 and 2021). And five other times, the Cowboys were ranked in the top 12 at some point in November, meaning they would have been legitimate contenders for a playoff bid.

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