College Football Playoff Could Expand Sooner Than Later
Athletic directors want an expanded playoff format.
Money is a factor in expanding the playoff.
Expansion for the College Football Playoff was going to happen sooner than later. There are many reasons the current four-team playoff set up is marred in flaws.
Four teams is too small because not every Power 5 conference champion can get in and it basically excludes any team from the Mountain West or any other Group of Five team.
The talk was that at the six-year mark an expansion could happen since all of the major bowls have had gone through one cycle of hosting semifinal games.
Now, with COVID-19 costing NCAA teams a lot of money with less payout for March Madness being canceled. Also, there is a real possibility that the upcoming college football season could be played with no fans and fewer games which leads to a lot of lost revenue.
Stadium’s Brett McMurphy polled all 130 FBS athletic directors and 88 percent were in favor of expanding the College Football Playoff.
Of that group, 72 percent prefer an eight-team model, 11 percent want either 12 or 16 teams, 5 percent want six teams and only 12 percent want the playoff to remain at four teams.’
We also wrote about what would be the perfect postseason would be for college football going over status quo all the way to a 16-team playoff.
However, over at Yahoo, it seems that the potential loss of money is a factor to expand the playoffs.
“I think we were moving in that direction anyway,” said a conference commissioner. “Could it be accelerated by something like this? It’s a good point. Revenue is going to be an issue. It’s not on the front burner yet, but it’s a legitimate question.”
What should be nice to hear for Mountain West teams is that an athletics director from a power conference wants at least a 12-team format.
“I think we should do 16,” a Power Five AD said. “If not, at least 12. That’s what everyone wants. That’s where the value is. Athletes want it, fans want it and TV wants it.”
One would assume that the 16-team format would include all 10 conference champions and six at-large. A 12-team probably would include at least two Group of Five teams and provide a lot more access.
One key figure to listen to is playoff director Bill Hancock who has always been adamant when it came back to the BCS days saying that there will never be a four-team playoff.
Also, more recently he has said the four-team format is the way to go. So, when he does not give Yahoo a clear cut “no” to expanding the playoff means it is a realistic option.
“People can speculate anything about this, but no one knows exactly what will happen,” Hancock told Yahoo Sports. “It’s fun for people to speculate, but no one can see the future for sure.”
So, this comment should lead people to believe that an expanded playoff is coming in the near future.
This likely could help the Mountain West earn a playoff spot compared to the current four-team model. Any expansion is good for the non-power teams as well to get multiple teams from a conference into the field.
Fans would be all over this because the non-New Year’s Six games are less and less relevant to fans and also some of the players themselves who are skipping the less important bowl games to prepare for the NFL Draft.
The earliest this could be done in two seasons in 2022 and it could not come at a sooner time to breath some life into the postseason and give more exposure to the Group of Five teams.