The College Football Playoff looks like its days as a four-team playoff may be numbered. After reports in recent weeks that the College Football Playoff committee is looking at changes to the format, now Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby admitted on the Paul Finebaum show that athletic directors will be chiming in with recommendations in the near future.
“We are at the point now where we’re prepared to make a recommendation on format,” Bowlsby said. “Ultimately, the board will make a decision as to whether or not we move forward to take the next steps on what we’re recommending, but the fact is we manage by unanimous consent. There are 11 parties to the contract and then there are a whole bunch of others that are TV partners and bowl partners, and others that have a dog in the fight. We really need to get to some position of practical unanimity and that’s not easy to accomplish. So to say that change is imminent would not be accurate, but I think we have a suggestion and a recommendation, and we’ll see what comes of it.”
Bowlsby went on to point out the obvious, that the number of teams, along with how teams are selected, are the main issues being looked at, adding, “One of the things we’ve been considering and looking at is whether the access is right. Are we getting the right teams in and the right numbers? Is it fair to people that are marginally on the outside looking in? That’s been the process we’ve undertaken over the last year.”
The Big 12 commissioner went on to say, “The four-team playoff is clearly superior to any of the predecessor structures. It’s been functional for us. I think you can probably — if you really wanted to look hard for criticism, it’s that the same teams have been in it too many times and perhaps that’s hurt the TV ratings, or something along those lines.”
Bowlsby is right to point out it’s been better than the BCS model, but it hasn’t been nearly the success that many of us, myself included, thought it would be. It has been repetitive, the selection committee has been inconsistent, to put it politely, and it has not resulted in great on-field match ups.
But all indications are the format will be changing even sooner than 2025, which is when the current four-team format contract is set to expire.