With conference realligment taking all the headlines across the college football world, College Football Playoff expansion has been placed on the backburner. But based on a recent comment from Ohio State Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith, it seems like the playoff could be expanding significnatly in the near future, after all.
Speaking with Pete Thamel of ESPN, Smith suggested that there has been increased conversation about the College Football Playoff expanding to 16 teams.
One new wrinkle that came up when Big Ten ADs met this week about the playoff is increased conversation about a 16-team playoff. OSU AD Gene Smith to ESPN: “Sixteen just seems to be out there. You can’t ignore it.”
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 26, 2022
“Sixteen just seems to be out there,” Smith told Thamel. “You can’t ignore it.”
Following Smith’s comments, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey also told Thamel that there’s been increased chatter about the potential of going to 16, while Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told reporters he’s “100 percent supportive of College Football Playoff expansion.”
At one point, it looked like playoff expansion was an inevitability with a working group formally proposing a 12-team playoff model to the College Football Playoff management committee in June of 2021. But that expansion step never materialized, with the CFP deciding to stick with four teams for the time being back in February.
While there’s no official timeline for any potential playoff expansion, it sure looks like things are finally headed in that direction once again.