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Bob Bowlsby Hopeful College Football Playoff Expansion Resolved by September

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff-Selection Sunday

Bob Bowlsby is hopeful that discussion about College Football Playoff expansion can be resolved as players, coaches, athletic directors and administrators provide feedback this summer.

Bowlsby talked briefly about the College Football Playoff during his ‘state of the conference’ discussion at Big 12 Media Days on Wednesday. He noted that the potential expansion of the playoff is one of the key issues he’s dealing with at the moment.

Because the playoff is a “one-sport issue,” Bowlsby said, and not something more complicated like Name, Image and Likeness, a decision on expansion could happen quickly.


“I hope the College Football Playoff is resolved by September, and because it’s that single-sport issue, it could be resolved soon,” Bowlsby said.  

He added it will be a “tremendous asset” for the regular season with up to 40 teams during the season having a chance to make the Playoff, while adding this is not about a money grab for the sport.

As for a timeline of when expansion takes place? Bowlsby simply said, “I can’t answer that.”

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The College Football Playoff is considering expansion, and the recommendation under consideration is a 12-team playoff. Announced in June, the 12-team proposal would be based on the College Football Playoff’s final season rankings, and would include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked at-large teams.


Bowlsby was part of the four-person committee that worked rather stealthily on playoff expansion, as Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger noted in a story last month. Bowlsby, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson were also part of the working group. The quartet managed to work in secret for nearly two years, without leaking any information about any of the proposals they vetted, before presenting their recommendation to the College Football Playoff board of directors.

During the week of the proposal’s announcement, Bowlsby also told reporters that he felt an expanded playoff could solve one tricky of the postseason — player participation. Players are opting out of bowl games at a growing rate, and an expanded playoff might mitigate some of that, per Bowlsby.

“You know, as we start to see some young people opt out of their postseason experiences, you wonder if there will be as much of that among a larger number of teams that have a dog in the fight for a national championship,” he said.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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