Is rejecting a playoff expansion best move for college football?

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college football playoff

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant

Change is always happening in college football, but the near future could prove that the rejection of a playoff expansion was the best thing to do at the most opportunistic time for the most notable conferences. Commissioners from their separate conferences last week decided to nix expanding the College Football Playoff. Currently, four teams enter the playoffs, but the proposal would have upped that to 12.

Because the commissioners weren’t unanimous in their approval, they’re waiting until the current CFP contract expires in 2025 for another review.

Expanding the playoffs would bring more teams to the table, but it would also lengthen the already-lengthy college football season.

For the Pac-12, an expansion makes a lot of sense, considering the current setup means they rarely have a representative in the final four. Adding more teams would give them the opportunity to plant their flag with the always competitive Oregon Ducks, or the up-and-coming Utah Utes.

The many changes in CFB over the next couple of years will be key factors on if there will ever be an expansion. The Big 12 will be losing their two biggest powerhouse schools in 2025 or sooner if Oklahoma and Texas are willing to pay $75 million to break their agreement before the contract expires. The additions would bring the SEC to 16 teams, making the villain of CFB an even stronger foe to every other conference.

The speculation was that the playoff 4-team format was created to combat the SEC dominance in the BCS championship era. The National Championship game featured at least one SEC team for eight consecutive years; seven were crowned champions.

It also doesn’t help that Alabama has been selected as one of the four teams each year of the playoff’s existence, winning the title three times.

Waiting out a decision on a playoff expansion could shed light on if the SEC would then become unbeatable. If the expansion was accepted, the fear of the SEC suffocating the new format before it began had to creep into the minds of the voters. They do not want to witness a world where the most feared football conference could potentially invite up to six teams to a 12-team format.

Another factor in preventing an expansion could have been the possibility of a conference alliance. The ACC, Big 10, and Pac-12 announced in August they are looking forward to combining their conferences in what may be the biggest merger football has ever seen if it gets finalized.

The Big 10 and ACC are the main factors in the alliance. While the SEC has dominated the last few years in the playoffs, Ohio State and Clemson got the ball rolling winning three of the first five years of the four-team championship format. Either conference has not had much traction past the first round since then.

The decision seems blurry now, but it may have been the best move at a time when the overview of college football may change drastically in the near future.

Categories: College Sports, Sports