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College Football Playoff makes clear they aren’t expanding

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

For those who have been clamoring including loudly recently for the College Football Playoff to expand beyond its current for teams, a simple blunt message was delivered Monday afternoon…

Forget it.

The CFP Board of Managers, led by Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, made the announcement in the build-up to Monday night’s Alabama-Clemson championship match-up in Santa Clara, California.

From the statement released, Keenum acknowledges that there has been the usual outcry, especially from conferences like this year with the Big Ten and the Pac-12 that were completely left out of the four team playoff. He made the board’s feeling clear:

It is our unanimous agreement that the Playoff has been a tremendous success for students, fans, and universities. We are very proud of it. Fans love to watch it and we look forward to its continued success.
When it comes to the Playoff, as part of our normal review, we always look at everything and we will do so again. 
Our job as university presidents is to listen to a variety of views, as we do every day back on campus, and every year when we consider how best to run the CFP. Academics, student-athlete well-being, existing contractual agreements and the overall good of the game are just a few of the issues we consider. At all times, we want our students who play sports to be successful in college and in life.
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. It’s fair to say the speculation about expansion has outdistanced the reality of what the commissioners and the presidents have discussed. If a decision were to be made down the road, the Presidents would be the ones to make it and we are not there.
Like we wrote, forget it.

And, if you understand anything about the dynamic of how college football has settled on its champion for decades, they have always relied on debate fueling interest, TV ratings and most of all… money.

The debate has raged over the last couple of seasons, as the Pac-12 and the Big Ten were left out of the playoff final four teams to decide the championship for two years in a row.

It’s further been questioned, as Alabama and Clemson have repeatedly been involved and will be playing in the championship game for the third time in four years, when they tee it up at Levi’s Stadium.

That board also consists of presidents from Penn State Texas, Notre Dame, Washington State and even, FSU President John Thrasher among others.

Meanwhile, the 13 person selection committee that determined the four teams this year has Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens, as its head and also, has Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin, as one of the voting members.

The College Football Playoff’s original agreement with the conferences, the schools and ESPN lasts until 2026.

And the tone of Monday statement is pretty clear, the powers that run the playoff are more than pleased with the amount of arguing and screaming that four teams, and four teams only, in their playoff brings.

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