CFP Chairman Mark Keenum: 'It's Way Too Soon' to Expand Playoff Field

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

The Championship trophy is seen before a news conference for the NCAA college football playoff championship game between Alabama and Clemson Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

It doesn't look as if the College Football Playoff will be expanding anytime soon.

The CFP board of managers held its annual meeting Monday, and chairman Mark Keenum released a statement saying, "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."

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic shared the statement that also said those in attendance were in "unanimous agreement that the Playoff has been a tremendous success":

The possibility of expanding the current system from its four-team field has been a talking point in college football of late, especially given recent developments.

Central Florida went undefeated in each of the last two regular seasons and was never seriously seen as a playoff threat, while Notre Dame making the field in 2018 and two SEC teams making it in 2017 left multiple power conferences on the outside.

There are four spots and five power conferences to begin with, so there will always be at least one of the five major leagues that is left out of the field.

The Big Ten knows that feeling of late, as its last three conference champions missed out (although Ohio State was an at-large bid in one of those years). Conference commissioner Jim Delaney said of potential expansion, "It's probably a good idea, given all of the conversations and noise around the issue, to have discussions with our colleagues," per Auerbach.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby echoed those sentiments when he said, per Auerbach, "It's an appropriate thing to begin thinking about."

One conference that has enjoyed plenty of success in the current system is the SEC, as it has never failed to send at least one team to the playoff since it was instituted prior to the 2014 campaign. Perhaps because of that, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said "the four-team playoff has worked exceptionally well," per Brett McMurphy of Stadium.

He apparently doesn't have to worry about that changing any time soon given Keenum's insistence it is too early to discuss expansion, but the topic is on the forefront of the minds of many college football fans. That could lead to an eventual change, much like the switch from a two-team BCS Championship Game to the current four-team system.

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