The Ohio State football program, and all other football programs across the country, are awaiting possible Playoff expansion. There has been a committee that has been doing research on the possible solution to CFP expansion that helps everyone.
That committee wrote an open letter to College Football this morning explaining what’s happening and what the roadblocks are to expansion. Based on reading the entire letter myself, it seems like the ACC is the conference making the biggest stink about expansion.
The CFP Working Group, made up of three conference Commissioners and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick, has been doing research on possible expansion. They had submitted a proposal for a 12-team playoff back in June that they think is the best course of action.
According to that proposal, the Power 5 champions would get automatic berths, as well as the AAC. Then there would be six at-large bids that would go out. The group contends that this would give more programs a chance at winning a national championship.
They also say that the ACC is holding things up. From the open letter:
One is the ACC’s publicly-registered opposition to expanding the playoff at the current time, citing health and safety concerns as well as the uncertainty and instability of the current college sports landscape.
The Working Group contends that player safety concerns, while valid, would be null in some cases because most good teams would get a first-round bye. If they made the National Championship, they would only be playing one more game. Teams eliminated in the first round would play no additional games.
They also address the other issue that the ACC raises, which is concern about the college sports landscape as a whole.
As for the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding college sports and NCAA governance, there is no question that issues such as name, image, and likeness (“NIL”), the transfer portal, NCAA divisional governance, the implications of the Alston Supreme Court decision, and the academic calendar – the list goes on – must be addressed. There are two main points to be made here. One, these issues do not bear directly on whether to expand the college football playoff. An expanded playoff is about enhancing opportunity regardless of what the future college sports landscape will look like.
That’s a long-winded way of basically saying “Yea, NIL is an issue, but not one that affects us expanding the Playoff”. This group thinks that the proposal is fair and wouldn’t be affected by NIL deals and how teams are dealing with that.
This group was hoping to get an expansion agreement put in place by either 2024 or 2025 so that it could be implemented in 2026. If the ACC continues to drag its feet, then that might not be able to happen. The group mentioned other possible hangups, but I think those are less of a concern than the ACC.
It’s unclear where things stand right now. The Ohio State football team would certainly benefit from a 12-team Playoff. We’ll see if that ends up happening.