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WVU President Dumps Cold Water on College Football Playoff Expansion



In the wake of Oklahoma and Texas exiting the Big 12 for the SEC and now the newly formed Alliance between the ACC, Big 10 and Pac 12, questions are beginning to arise about the logistics of expanding the current four-team college football playoff to the 12-team format proposed in June.

As it currently stands, and even before the rush of realignment in college football, the current expansion proposal poses a lot of questions. The turmoil in college football is likely a roadblock.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia president E. Gorden Gee said the expansion is on “life support.” As a member of the College Football Playoff board of managers, any votes to change the format or implement change in the playoff would require him to vote yes — along with every other member of the 11 member committee comprised of university presidents.

The Athletic’s Chris Vannini shared a screenshot of the article, highlighting Gee’s quote surrounding the instability in college football as a major reason why he wouldn’t vote yes on a playoff expansion.

While it’s been assumed that the playoff would expand sooner rather than later, with the four-team format drawing calls for expansion since the format arrived in 2014, it appears the rapidly changing landscape around college football may push the expansion back further.

Gee isn’t the only vocal advocate for holding off on playoff expansion, but at Tuesday’s “Alliance” press conference, Pac 12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren expressed their support of expanding the playoff — with ACC commissioner Jim Phillips saying the ACC was still vetting the situation and collecting data points.

Playoff expansion, as of this moment, doesn’t appear likely to be voted through — especially with a summer feasibility study due for discussion in September and conference commissioners and university presidents unlikely to draw unanimous support upon learning the results.

Of course, with further discussions, greater trust in the new format could be fostered and a renewed push to vote yes on the format could still take place. Next month’s playoff expansion meetings will help decide whether expansion is going to happen.

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