Josh Kendall

Four- or eight-team playoff? Muschamp says USC plans to be there

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp stepped into college football’s hottest debate of the week – whether it’s time for the sport to expand the current four-team playoff into an eight-game format.

“We all say it’s about the student-athlete, but a lot of the decisions that are made are not about the student-athlete,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “Let’s just cut to the chase.”

Muschamp’s main concern is protecting the current bowl system, and he fears an eight-game system would do that, he said.

“I just don’t know how you’re going to structure it if you get into an eight-game playoff. We actually do have exams,” he said. “At the end of the day, let’s be realistic, it’s a very long season as it is then if you have an eight-game playoff, you’re probably going to have a 10-game regular season I would guess. It’s going to be more and more difficult to be able to structure it.”

The Gamecocks (7-5) take on Virginia (7-5) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 in Charlotte.

“I think it’s a great reward for a young man to be able to go to Charlotte or, last year a place like Tampa, and spend a week at a nice hotel, get fed well and really enjoy a reward for a season,” Muschamp said. “That’s really what the bowl games are for. Whether it’s a four-game or eight-game, we plan on being there. That’s what we’re pushing for, and that’s what we want to be a part of.”