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ASU Football: Todd Graham in favor of playoff expansion

Graham believes that the winners of the Power Five conferences should be granted an auto-bid to the playoffs.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

This season will be the first in college football that includes a postseason playoff. The top four teams, chosen by a committee, will play to determine who is the national champion.

But while Arizona State coach Todd Graham likes the playoff format, he doesn't think it's enough.

"Great respect needs to be given to the conference champion," Graham said. "I'm hoping eventually we'll get an automatic bid."

Graham brought up the example that Arizona State plays LSU in 2022 and 2023. LSU, a perennial national power, obviously poses a tough challenge for the Sun Devils, and gives them a formidable nonconference schedule.

He said the two toughest leagues are the Pac-12 and the SEC, and it's hard to go undefeated in conference. Graham said if Arizona State loses to LSU, but still wins the Pac-12 with one conference loss, there is a chance his squad does not play in the playoffs.

That being said, he does not want to lighten the team's nonconference schedule.

"I'm a fan, and I think we ought to give the fans what they want too," he said. "We've scheduled Michigan State, Texas A&M, LSU. I think people are pretty pleased with the nonconference teams we're playing."

"I don't think fans want to see four wins, then win two conference games and go to a bowl game. I don't think that's what college football is all about."

He also said that each of the conferences should be playing the same schedules. He said it before, but reinforced it on Saturday: He wants to see each school play nine conference games then a conference championship.

"And I think with the autonomy, and the way it's going, I think eventually you'll see that."