College Football Playoff expansion appears to be back on the schedule as the 2022 season approaches.
Until now, it was expected that the CFP format would expand from four to 12 teams, but now the power brokers in the room are looking for even more.
There is “increased chatter” that the College Football Playoff could expand to 16 teams instead, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told ESPN.
That nugget of information follows another report that Big Ten athletic directors also brought up the possibility of a 16 team playoff in their recent meetings.
Ohio State AD Gene Smith acknowledged that sentiment, saying, “Sixteen just seems to be out there. You can’t ignore it.”
That’s certainly a change from earlier this year, when the College Football Playoff voted against expansion seemingly for the next few years.
College Football Playoff expansion is off until 2025 (at least)
After months of debate, meetings, and behind the scenes negotiations, the College Football Playoff announced it will stay at four teams through the end of its current contract, after the 2025 season.
That decision cost the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame around $450 million or more in potential revenue, according to most reporting.
The move to expand — which requires a unanimous vote — was put down by an 8-3 margin, with the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC voting against the expansion proposal.
Why did the vote fail? There are several reported reasons, including
- inability to accommodate the Pac-12 relationship with the Rose Bowl, which wants to maintain its traditional Jan. 1 date and media rights,
- protracted disagreements over distribution of future revenue
- disputes over whether Power 5 conference champions should get automatic bids to an expanded playoff — the Big Ten is in favor, while the others are not
But with all the changes that took place this offseason, including the latest phase of college football realignment, the mood in the room may be shifting.
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Big Ten is “100 percent” in favor of College Football Playoff expansion
Positive update on College Football Playoff expansion
Update on where the SEC stands on CFP expansion
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