College Football Playoff Jan 11, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; A detailed view of College Football Playoff National Championship logo helmet at 2022 Indianapolis Host Committee press conference at the JW Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The debate over whether or not the College Football Playoff needs to expand from four teams to eight or even 12 teams has been going on for as long as it’s existed. All signs seemed to point to the four-team model going away in favor of an expanded field, which was backed up by the recent move of Texas and Oklahoma to the crowded SEC. The assumption was that the SEC would want to expand the field in order to get even more teams in the playoff than they already do while the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 would like to see expansion in order to give their teams more chances to qualify. And ESPN has long been considered a driving force in expansion in order to create more games and bigger ratings.

However, that has not been the case. Reports of expansion were greatly overexaggerated. A recent opportunity for the conferences to agree on expansion went nowhere.

Friday, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips spoke with the media and laid out the clearest sign yet that CFP expansion is not in the cards anytime soon, essentially saying that the ACC “is very much aligned in its position that now is not the time to expand the College Football Playoff.”

As some have pointed out, this is likely less a stake being driven into the sand and more of a leverage play by a conference that needs some.

There’s also a lot of other information to be gleaned from what Phillips is saying, including an assumption that conference realignment is far from over.

As you might imagine, the news that one of the major conferences is effectively saying CFP expansion is dead, for now, caused a bit of a reaction around the college football world.

Is this a line in the sand or simply a negotiation tactic by the ACC to make sure it (and the Big Ten) gets what it wants before handing over the keys to the SEC in an eight-team playoff? Time will tell. Until then, it’s going to remain a hot-button issue for a lot of college football fans who desperately want to shake up the playoff and get some fresh blood in there to lose by 30 to Alabama (even if Nick Saban is fine with how things are now).

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to