College Football Playoff can’t expand without bringing bowl games to an end.


This past week I traveled down to the Orange Bowl as a Clemson Tiger fan. I went to the ACC Championship in Charlotte last year to root on Georgia Tech. One thing has become very apparent to me. The College Football Playoff isn’t expanding without a complete paradigm shift in how the college football post-season is handled. In other words don’t hold out for expansion anytime soon.

Here’s why…

It’s the travelling and the bowls folks.

Down in Miami, I met Clemson fans who made the trip to the Orange Bowl. Many debated whether financially they could make the trip to Arizona. Some decided they will go. Some didn’t. I know some fans that decided to skip the Orange and try to make the trip to Arizona if Clemson made it.

Last year many Georgia Tech fans made the trip to Charlotte, and said they probably couldn’t make the Orange Bowl.

Can you imagine adding a 3rd set of games in an 8 team playoff or a 4th in a 16 team playoff and try to do that within the bowl structure. Forget it. That could be as many as 5 trips for fans of a school. That’s not happening.

If the playoff ever did expand, the 16 and 8 round of games would have to be at a school’s home site. Very few fanbases couldn’t support the amount of travel to neutral sites otherwise.

That would be the end of the bowl structure.

Bowls are signed to multi-year agreements with the Power 5 conferences. Don’t expect those contracts to be broken anytime soon.

An 8 team playoff sounds great. I’d be for it, but don’t count on it happening for at least 10-15 years if then. The Bowls are too tied into the fabric of the college post-season.

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