While conference realignment briefly put most College Football Playoff chatter on the back-burner, it seems talks are heating up once again, with college football officials growing confident that the playoff will be expanded in the near future with news that it could be bigger and come sooner than expected.
Earlier this week, Ohio State Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey both indicated that there has been increased chatter around the league about the playoff possibly expanding to 16 teams from the current four – a change from the 12-team format that was proposed in June of 2021.
Then on Friday, a different college football official gave us a possible timeline for the change with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff telling ESPN at Pac-12 Media Days that he foresees the possibility of the playoff expanding even before the current contract ends after the 2025 season.
“I’m really confident that we’re going to expand the College Football Playoff,” Kliavkoff told ESPN. “It actually wouldn’t surprise me once we agree on the format, if it happens before the end of the current term. Once you agree to the format, why wouldn’t you?”
Kiavkoff’s optimism around playoff expansion comes in contrast the College Football Playoff’s decision to stick with four teams for the time being back in February. But the Pac-12 commissioner says things have changed since then. Specifically, parties are coming closer to agreeing on a playoff format.
“We’re closer than we ever have been to agreeing to a format. The lack of agreement about a format held us back from doing it quickly, as opposed to slowly,” Kliavkoff told ESPN. “I said it back when we originally met on this. Once you agree to a format, you can shoehorn that into the existing contract. If we agree on what it looks like past the existing contract, why wouldn’t you try and do it quicker?”
This wasn’t the only noteworthy thing to come out of Kliavkoff’s attendance at Pac-12 Media Days as the Pac-12 commissioner also discussed defending his conference from “grenades” from the Big 12 and the possibility of “shopping” the conference for new members.
It’s never a dull day in the world of college football.