Just a couple of months ago it was assumed that the College Football Playoff would be expanding this fall, it was only a matter of when? But now, that is no longer the case.
In an interview with West Virginia President Gordon E. Gee, he told the Daily Athenaeum that his support has certainly waned for the plan to go from a 4-team to a 12-team playoff.
“I am on the College Football Playoff Board of Directors [Managers] and I was a strong advocate for the 12-team playoff,” Gee said. “I am now no longer because I think with this changing environment, we want to keep it very narrow and keep it so there is a lot of opportunity to reconfigure what we’re doing in athletics.”
“I think it is on life support now,” Gee said. “I have one of the votes and I think it nearly needs to be unanimous and I’m not voting for it. I think the Big Ten will not vote for it and the Pac 12 will probably not vote for it either.”
“It’s one of those ideas that I think was very good when there was stability. When there’s instability, the idea becomes less appropriate.”
In June, it was announced that the College Football Playoff board was prepared to make a shift to expand the four-team College Football Playoff field to 12 teams. Then, at Big 12 Media Days last month, commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he expected a resolution by September.
“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.
However, just days after Big 12 Media Days, the college sports landscape was turned upside its head with Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.
There have been reports that the College Football Playoff expansion plans could be put on hold, or not even transpire, based on how the landscape of college football has changed. That would ultimately hurt the SEC and that may be part of the play by the rest of the decision makers. The SEC, which would undoubtedly be the best conference in the sport, would have a hard time getting more than two teams into the CFB Playoff.
Meantime, there’s no question that part of the calculation from Oklahoma and Texas was that an expanded Playoff would be beneficial for them in the SEC. But now? We wait and see what the decision makers like Gordon Gee actually decide.