And while conferences mentioned “championship” expansion in both the press release and news conference, none of the commissioners said whether they plan to support the proposal on the table.
The one thing the commissioners did appear to agree on? They’re all still researching expansion, and haven’t made a decision yet. (Though Kliavkoff and Warren noted their respective conferences support expanding the CFP in theory.)
Evening the Playing Field?
At first, the CFP’s proposed expansion didn’t seem that controversial across the Power 5 landscape. After all, more spots meant more opportunities for previously snubbed FBS schools to get bids. It also may mean more lucrative TV contracts — even if that comes at the expense of unpaid athletes playing longer seasons.
But there weren’t any representatives from the Big Ten, Pac-12, or ACC in the room when the decision was made. The committee included Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick (Notre Dame is independent for football) and commissioners from the Big 12, Mountain West, and yes, the SEC.
But then, Oklahoma and Texas announced they plan to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. It’s easy to see why the optics of the CFP expansion committee and the SEC’s back-channelling may have been questionable to other conferences.
On the alliance presser, commissioners did praise the committee for their thorough proposal. But when it comes time to vote, Warren said: “We need to make sure we have an inclusive voice.”