College Sports

College Football Playoff expansion? It could come sooner than later. And this is why

Saban dismisses claim that UCF shares national title with Alabama

Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."
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Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."

An eight-team College Football Playoff could come sooner than later, according to The Athletic.

With the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences not getting a team into the CFP for a second straight season, there is growing support for an eight-team playoff to happen before the current 12-year contract with ESPN expires in 2026, The Athletic reported.

In addition, there is support for a Group of Five team such as UCF, who currently holds the nation’s longest active FBS winning streak at 25 games, to receive inclusion if the CFP expands to eight teams.

“I also want to be very clear: I think that there’s arrogance of us not taking a look at someone like the University of Central Florida, just saying, ‘Well, they’re not worthy of it,’” West Virginia president Gordon Gee told The Athletic. “Maybe they are worthy of it based upon a number of considerations that need to be taken into account.”

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who was on the CFP committee from 2014 to 2016, told The Athletic that “UCF should have that opportunity.”

However, CFP executive director Bill Hancock has maintained there are no expansion talks, according to ESPN.

The Athletic reported former Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas has put together an eight-team playoff and given it to Alvarez, Hancock and others.

That model would include the five Power 5 conference champions, the top Group of Five team and two other at-large teams, with conference championships eliminated and quarterfinals played at a campus site the week after Thanksgiving, the outlet reported.

“I do notice, though, that playoffs, generally, in other sports, in the professional sports, are determined on the field, and this is different than that,” Ohio State president Michael Drake told The Athletic.

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