If you have been keeping up with the latest College Football headlines, you are aware of the two biggest headlines in the news.
First, it seems that an expansion of the College Football playoffs from 4 teams to 12 teams is all but certain to take place in a few years.
Second, Oklahoma and Texas shockingly decided to resign from the Big 12 and take their services over to the SEC.
If you are not up to date on these stories, GMTM has published several articles outlining everything you need to know.
At first sight, the two moves seem to be independent of each other, with only little if any overlapping consequences. But a deeper dive into both these new proposals reveals several potential roadblocks to either of them becoming a reality.
According to many within the College Football ranks, the move to expand the SEC will greatly slow down the implementation of an expanded playoff model. Stewart Mandel of The Athletic stated, “The CFP’s 12-year contract runs through the 2025 season, but the surprise announcement of a 12-team proposal last month led many to assume the four-team format would be blown up sooner than that.
Now, momentum to make the change to the format before the contract runs out may be grinding to a halt”.
The new format guarantees more playoff spots for conference champions. But with the Big 12 reduced to 8 teams, there is a chance we would be left without them moving forward. And with the SEC expanding to 16 teams, they will most likely be receiving 4 to 6 playoff bids every year.
This should still be more appealing to the other conferences than losing 2 of 4 available slots each year to SEC programs.
Big 12 conference leaders will be trying to pitch their remaining 8 programs to stay by emphasizing that without the dominant presence of Oklahoma and Texas, the door is wide open for the other teams to win the conference, and therefore securing a playoff spot in the process.
The question is whether those 8 programs and whomever else they would seek to bring in, would be able to keep the conference afloat financially and from a marketing standpoint.
The biggest fear that looks to push back the CFP expansion is the potential for further realignment following this SEC expansion. Top-ranking league officials have cited their concern over more massive realignment moves. One called this, “just the tip of the iceberg”, and most are in consensus that their will be more moves to come.
With the proposed new playoff model relying heavily on conference champions, it is clear how massive changes to the power 5 conferences can create trouble. The new model was not set to take place anyways for another few years.
What is cause for concern is that it seems College Football is heading for a future that sees the power conference model completely abandoned. The formation of one massive super league, composed of all the most prestigious programs, seems like a realistic future now.
If this were to be the case, how would teams outside this realm be able to make a case for being a top 12, and therefore a playoff team? That is the question on people’s minds.