Expansion of the College Football Playoff before 2026 appears unlikely, based on comments Friday by ACC commissioner Jim Phillips.
Speaking with reporters on a conference call, Phillips said “now is not the right time” to expand the playoff beyond the four-team format in place since 2014. The 12-year CFP contract with ESPN runs through the 2025 season, and any change to the current set-up must come as a result of a unanimous vote among management committee members, which includes Phillips, the other nine FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick.
“The aspect of increased access to the CFP can and absolutely should be addressed as we move forward together as leaders of college athletics, but not before making sure our house is in order,” Phillips said, via The Athletic.
Phillips’ comments Friday mark a distinct about-face from the previous stance by Phillips and other college football powerbrokers, who appeared to be pushing for an expanded playoff field as recently as this past summer. However, that stance has changed, as various conference commissioners favor keeping the field at four teams, expanding it to eight or expanding it to 12.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has spoken publicly in favor of a 12-team format, which would increase his league’s chances of getting two or more teams into the field each year. The SEC had two of the four teams in this year’s playoff field, with Georgia beating Alabama in the title game.
“If we are going to move off the four-team format, the proposed 12-team model works well and compared to others, works best,” Sankey told the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum last week. “We’ll see if others are prepared to act.”
Phillips said football coaches in his league are “unanimously” against expanding the playoff any time soon, with no appetite to play more than the 15 games now required for those who advance to the national championship game. Instead, Phillips and his fellow conference commissioners and the 11-member CFP board of managers (made up of various school presidents) would rather focus on more pressing issues in the game, including reforms to the NCAA constitution, as well as changes related to Name, Image and Likeness legislation and other forms of athlete compensation.
“The board wants us to keep continuing to work,” Phillips said. “We’re not opposed to expansion at some point. Right now, we don’t feel like that’s the right thing to do in college football.”
Source : https://www.al.com/sports/2022/01/acc-commissioner-on-playoff-expansion-now-is-not-the-right-time.html501