By now you’re probably sick of my diatribes about the ACCs, and more broadly Clemson Football, a lesser place on the college football landscape that is likely to become more of a reality in the near future.
The near future got a little closer when the SEC floated the idea of holding its own postseason or playoff.
It apparently stems from the decision not to expand the playoffs to 12 teams so the SEC could get, oh I don’t know, seven or eight of those spots.
“Whatever collegiality there was between those five commissioners seems to have disappeared,” said one veteran college official. “Sankey is sitting in a catbird seat like that right now.”
The notion of the playoffs expanding to 12 teams during the current contract was officially quashed in February, meaning a four-team playoff by the 2025 season. From then on, uncertainty about formats increased.
Rejected in his attempt to dominate the other leagues while playing well (publicly, at least), Greg Sankey made a power move.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stressed that no seismic change was imminent. However, he did mention that an SEC-only playoff, in various forms, was among the nearly 40 different models that SEC officials discussed at their fall meetings.
“As we think as a conference,” he told ESPN Monday, “it’s critical that we think about the range of possibilities.”
I’ve read that this is not an empty threat, but rather a probability in the future.
Sankey calculates. And he has made it clear he was not pleased that much time, sweat and contact with other leagues was wasted as talks of expanding the playoffs to 12 collapsed.
Angered by the “Alliance” and the fact that half of their teams aren’t making the playoffs, the SEC decided they should alone decide the future of college football and took the bull by the horns, and I speak not just about inviting Texas to join the league.
My reading: This is the SEC pitching the idea, assessing the response, and planning an implementation once contractually permitted.
Could things change? Absolutely, we live in a crazy world whether we’re talking about college football or anything else on the planet.
At some point in the near future, you and I may see Clemson in what’s left of the college football playoffs, but most of America will see the SEC playoff presented by any business entity that pays a billion to make it happen brand.
In the meantime, the ACC-ADs are considering scheduling games with Big 10 and PAC-12 teams, but not too seriously, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or disrupt their game for a pitcher, ax or rusty can.
I don’t necessarily agree with the SEC’s plans and I think it has the potential to end college football as we know it, but I certainly understand why.
College football is a business and as the old saying goes, one plays checkers and the other plays chess.