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Group of 5 Teams Considering G5-Only Playoff

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; A view of the CFP Trophy before the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Washington Huskies at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With a multitude of changes coming to the College Football Playoff in the near future, some Group of 5 teams are taking the hint and beginning to workshop ideas to form their own playoff.

According to a recent report from The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, “Group of 5 administrators have had preliminary discussions in recent months about a G5-only postseason playoff or even wide-scale G5 realignment with the involvement of private equity.”


“Multiple administrators from within the G5 conferences — the American, Sun Belt, Mountain West, MAC, and Conference USA — told The Athletic that former college and NFL coach Derek Dooley has been the salesman on behalf of private equity firms, making contact with schools,” Vannini writes. “The administrators, who were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, made clear that nothing is imminent and they haven’t been presented with any numbers yet. But conversations are more real than they’ve ever been.”

The idea of breaking off from the current College Football Playoff model came after G5 representatives witnessed the Big Ten and the SEC attempt to tip the scales in their favor by granting more power to the pair of conferences.

One anonymous G5 athletic director told Vannini, “We’re taking some leadership here to control our own destiny so that Tony Petitti and Greg Sankey don’t make that decision for us.”

While the conversation surrounding the G5 Playoff is still in some early stages, the idea of splitting off from the CFP is one of many that should remind college football fans just how volatile the sport can be.

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