College Football Playoff expansion was always inevitable, but it’s happening faster than anticipated. Why? SEC football got involved.
The CFP committee was originally defending the four-team playoff, despite major pushback. The narrative change once the SEC started pushing for a 12-team format. Per Stewart Mandel of The Athletic, SEC football realized a 12-team format allows the conference more opportunities to get several of its members into the postseason.
“How did the CFP go so quickly from defending 4 teams to recommending 12? Because the SEC got behind it,” Mandel said on Twitter. “8 teams with only 2 at-larges does nothing for the SEC. “8 best” w/ no automatics does nothing for the other leagues. This pleases all parties.”
The SEC is the driving force behind most major decisions involving college football. Once the conference got behind a 12-team format, the committee has since moved fast to make it a priority.
How did the CFP go so quickly from defending 4 teams to recommending 12?
Because the SEC got behind it.
8 teams with only 2 at-larges does nothing for the SEC. "8 best" w/ no automatics does nothing for the other leagues.
This pleases all parties.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 10, 2021
There’s one immediate question surrounding a 12-team format: how will it impact the regular season?
Currently, teams play 12 games during the regular season. Then there’s a conference championship game and two additional playoff games.
If the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams, the sport should consider getting rid of the non-conference schedule, or at least shortening it to one game. Players, especially unpaid players, can’t afford to play so many games during a season.
Regardless, the College Football Playoff is pushing towards expansion. Fans will finally get their wish in coming years.