Big Ten's Delany Now Open To Discussing Possible CFP Expansion
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has joined the "growing chorus calling for an examination of the CFP structure now, well before the end of the Playoff’s initial 12-year contract with ESPN ends" in '26, according to Nicole Auerbach of THE ATHLETIC. Delany said the Big Ten would "definitely have conversations" regarding expanding from four to eight teams. Delany: “The Big Ten would be happy to discuss structure issues with colleagues. It’s probably a good idea, given all of the conversations and noise around the issue." Auerbach notes there have been "no formal conversations about expansion yet among Playoff leadership, but these are people who will be in the room if and when there are." It is "significant coming from Delany, who for years during the BCS era pushed back against any type of playoff format" (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/18). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's George Schroeder reports the Power Five commissioners "remain largely satisfied" with the CFP structure and believe that it is "working as intended." Although some say they would "not be opposed to considering something different at some point, they see no reason -- and insist there is no impetus -- to explore significant change now." Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “Four works. It was hard to get to four with lots of compromises. We should be thoughtful, but shouldn’t refuse to discuss.” Schroeder notes Bowlsby’s sentiment has "been echoed this month, publicly and privately, by many of his peers." This year's bracket of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma "forestalled any serious discussion of substantive change." It includes "three conference champions and three unbeaten teams" (USA TODAY, 12/18).
NOT SO FAST: In Virginia, David Teel writes under the header, "College Football Playoff Expansion Faces Many Hurdles." Since the playoff bracket was revealed earlier this month, the sport has "buzzed with calls for doubling the field to eight, and while such expansion may be inevitable, it certainly doesn’t feel imminent." Conference championship games, "television considerations and, yes, exams are among the barriers in this Marine-caliber obstacle course" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 12/18).