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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Biggest reason why CFP expanded to 12-team playoff revealed

College Football Playoff logo

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detailed view of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship logo at midfield at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The leadership for the College Football Playoff on Friday voted to expand the playoff from 4 to 12 teams. Did they vote to expand because they thought such a playoff would be the most fair system? Because they wanted to give a chance to smaller conferences? Because they feel 12 teams is the best number possible?

Not quite.

If you guessed “money” as the main reason behind the expansion, you would be correct.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel says that the college presidents involved in the decision felt they were leaving too much money on the table by only having a 4-team playoff.

The expansion of the playoffs is projected to generate an extra $200 million or so per year. The CFP still needs to determine how that money will be divided. But the money-hungry school presidents decided they wanted that extra cash.

Money-driven decisions have been popular this college football offseason. Money was the main driver behind UCLA leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. Their athletic department was several millions off budget, and joining the Big Ten was their way to resolve the financial deficit.

If money was the driver behind expanding to 12 teams, it probably won’t be long before they expand to 16 teams for even more money.

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