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Projecting a 68-team college football playoff bracket

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What seed would the Cougars get if Mike Leach's dream finally came true?

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that Mike Leach wants the College Football Playoff bracket to expand from four teams to 64. Will this ever happen? Probably not, but with the NCAA Tournament starting this week it's fun to imagine the madness that would happen if college football expanded their playoff bracket to include 64 teams out of the 128 FBS teams.

Leach has long argued for a 64-team field in college football. He wants to cut the regular season to 10 games and then emulate college basketball's postseason with a 64-team bracket. The final two teams would play six games in six weeks.
For the sake of conversation, ESPN's Sharon Katz and Mark Schlabach made their own 68-team College Football Playoff bracket. Their bracket includes a First Four round that the NCAA tournament created in 2011 when March Madness expanded to 68 teams. From there on Katz and Schlabach give the seedings for all 68 teams and preview the first and second round match ups. Katz and Schlabach used their "Way-Too-Early Top 25" projections for 2016 along with the initial FPI (fooball power index) ratings to figure out where each team is seeded and who would advance to the next round.

The Pac-12 would have ten teams represented in the bracket, from as high Stanford (2-seed) to as low as Cal (13-seed). Unsurprisingly, Oregon State and Colorado would be the two lone teams to watch the playoff from home. Katz and Schlabach gave Washington State a 7-seed, joining fellow 7-seeds Utah, Louisville, and Boise State.

In round one of the Midwest Region, the Cougars would draw 10-seed Mississippi State. Schlabach likes the Cougars coming out on top of the Bulldogs in the round of 64, but Katz's own FPI projections have it the other way around. Going by Schlabach's prediction, the Cougars would face 2-seed Clemson, fresh off a win against Georgia Southern, in the round of 32. Schlabach takes the Tigers over the Cougars in this "all-big cat" match up, and it is hard to fault that considering Clemson lost to Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship Game earlier this year.

Katz and Schlabach will continue their bracket next week and look at the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. A 68-team playoff bracket may be unrealistic, but imagine how much fun it would be dedicating each Saturday in December and early January to watching these games. A 16-seed Northern Illinois upset over 1-seed Alabama would be way better than watching the Corporate Sponsor Here Presented by Another Corporate Sponsor Here Bowl game. Just think of the ratings, CFP selection committee.