College Football Playoff 'Has Worked Exceptionally Well,' SEC Commissioner Says

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2019

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during a news conference, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Atlanta. Georgia and Alabama will play Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

At least one SEC squad has been in the four-team College Football Playoff in each of the five years since it was instituted, and the commissioner of the conference is naturally a fan.

"An acknowledgement that the four-team playoff has worked exceptionally well," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said when he was asked what he anticipated during a Monday discussion between presidents and commissioners from around college football, per Brett McMurphy of Stadium.

Alabama will play Clemson for the national championship on Monday and look to give the SEC its third title in five years under the system. The Crimson Tide also reached the playoff in 2014 and 2016, when Ohio State and Clemson took home the respective trophies, and played fellow SEC team Georgia in last season's championship bout.

While Sankey is clearly a fan of the current system, he likely won't be met with complete agreement from some of his colleagues.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said of potentially changing the system, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, "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, to have discussions with our colleagues."

It should be noted the Big Ten champion has been left out of the last three playoffs, although the Buckeyes were an at-large bid in one of those fields. Ohio State was narrowly left out of the last two playoffs, helping foster some of the controversy surrounding the four-team bracket.

What's more, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said of potential expansion, per Auerbach, "It's an appropriate thing to begin thinking about."

Elsewhere, Central Florida athletics director Danny White called the current system "broken," after his team was left out of the last two playoffs despite finishing the regular seasons with undefeated records, per Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel.

There is something to be said about removing some of the controversy from the selection process if the field was expanded to eight teams with automatic berths for the five power conference champions. That would prevent a situation where multiple power conference champions were left out, especially if a team like Notre Dame made the field like this season.

Despite those possible advantages, Sankey is fine keeping the current system as is while the SEC's Crimson Tide prepare for another shot at the title.

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