Presidents, commissioners put brakes on CFP expansion talk
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The College Football Playoff is not close to expanding.
After a month of chatter about possible changes to the four-team playoff, the conference commissioners and university presidents who constitute the playoff brain trust met Monday at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose and quelled the speculation.
“As far as expanding the number of teams in the playoff, it’s way too soon — much too soon — to know if that is even a possibility,” Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, the chairman of the CFP board of managers, said in a statement.
The playoff is in its fifth season. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson will play the national championship game Monday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Expansion talk perked up last month when Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told The Athletic he was ready to begin talking about an eight-team format after his conference was left out of the playoff for a second consecutive season.
Delany was a longtime and staunch playoff opponent during the days of the Bowl Championship Series, so having him and some of the athletic directors in the Big Ten come out in favor of looking at expansion caused a stir.
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco, buoyed by UCF’s performance the last two seasons, also has begun making a case for a bigger field.
But those statements conflicted what other conference commissioners have said about expansion. On Monday, they spoke with one voice.
“I’m not going to say everyone, (but) a consensus is very pleased with the four-team format and the success, most importantly, that we’ve had over the past five years with the system that we have,” Keenum told reporters. “There was discussion about what we can do to improve upon our current system. As a practice in my tenure on the board, we annually look at ways we can improve and make it even more successful. And that’s what we agreed to this morning. To look at how we can maybe improve upon the current success that we have.
“We’re going to look at every aspect of how we can make our playoff system even better. But we all acknowledge it’s very good as is.”