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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Articles tagged: College Football Playoff

Ex-NFL Pro Bowlers share cool moment during Georgia-TCU coin toss

Matthew Stafford and LaDainian Tomlinson embracing

Georgia and TCU both brought the star power ahead of Monday’s game.

During the coin toss prior to the CFP title game, Georgia’s captains and TCU’s captains were each joined by a well-known alum of their program. Georgia came out with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (who played for their program from 2006 to 2008), and TCU responded with retired former NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson (who was a Horned Frog from 1997 to 2000).

Stafford and Tomlinson, officially serving as the honorary captains for their respective alma maters, shared a cool embrace at midfield.

Georgia ultimately won the coin toss and elected to defer. They forced a TCU three-and-out on the opening drive and then drew first blood during the first offensive possession of their own with a 21-yard touchdown run by quarterback Stetson Bennett.

For Stafford and Tomlinson meanwhile, Monday’s game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. marked fairly familiar territory for both of them. Stafford and the Rams play their home contests at SoFi Stadium, while Tomlinson also played in Southern California for many years when he starred for the then-San Diego Chargers. But they are not the only notable names with something big riding on the Georgia-TCU matchup.

Shaq makes crazy wager on CFP title game

Shaq holds a mic

Mar 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal is putting his money where his mouth is … in one sense.

On an episode this week of TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” the retired center great O’Neal made a pretty wild wager with co-host Ernie Johnson on Monday’s CFP national title game. In an apparent show of confidence in TCU to beat Georgia, O’Neal said he would eat a horned frog if Georgia won the game.

The Bulldogs are big 12.5-point favorites for the showdown with TCU, but O’Neal might not be able to make good on his wager regardless. The horned frog of TCU fame is otherwise known as the Texas horned lizard, which is a protected species in certain states. As such O’Neal, probably will not be able to eat an actual horned frog for legal reasons.

O’Neal could always eat a safer, more acceptable dish such as frog legs should TCU ultimately lose in the national championship game. But this appears to be a sign that O’Neal is done betting money on sporting events after the major Ls that he has taken recently.

College Football Playoff field officially unveiled

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 College Football Playoff is officially set.

The CFP selection committee on Sunday unveiled its final rankings. Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State will play for a national championship.

As expected, undefeated Georgia is the No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs will face No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve. No. 2 Michigan will take on No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl earlier that day.

TCU lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game on Saturday, but that was their only loss of the season. Ohio State rose back into the top four after USC lost to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night.

Alabama finished No. 5 in the CFP rankings despite Nick Saban campaigning over the weekend for his team to be included in the playoff. While a two-loss team has never made the College Football Playoff, Saban felt the Crimson Tide deserved a spot because they would be favored over three of the four playoff teams.

Ohio State was the biggest winner of the weekend. They were blown out at home by Michigan two weeks ago and did not play in the Big Ten Championship Game. That gave them just one loss on the season. They would not have made the CFP had USC beaten Utah.

College Football Playoff makes major announcement

College Football Playoff logo

College Football Playoff expansion has long been viewed as inevitable, and the official change is coming sooner than expected.

The CFP announced on Thursday that a 12-team playoff will be implemented beginning in the 2024-25 season.

“We’re delighted to be moving forward,” College football executive director Bill Hancock said in a press release. “When the board expanded the playoff beginning in 2026 and asked the CFP Management Committee to examine the feasibility of starting the new format earlier, the Management Committee went right to work. More teams and more access mean more excitement for fans, alumni, students and student-athletes. We appreciate the leaders of the six bowl games and the two future national championship game host cities for their cooperation. Everyone realized that this change is in the best interest of college football and pulled together to make it happen.”

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that the Rose Bowl has finally gotten on board with playoff expansion. The previous contract under the four-team playoff system ran through 2025 and required the unanimous approval of the six current participating bowls in order to expand early. Rose Bowl officials wanted special accommodations, namely pertaining to their exclusive playing window in the afternoon/evening on New Year’s Day.

There was essentially a handshake agreement that the CFP will work in good faith to address the Rose Bowl’s concerns, though no guarantees were made. Had the Rose Bowl refused to agree to expansion, they would have risked being cut out of the next CFP television deal.

The 12-team playoff field will be made up of the top six conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams. The top four conference champions will receive a bye in the first round. The four higher seeds that play in the first round will have their choice of hosting the game at their stadium or another site of their choice.

CFP reportedly had message for Rose Bowl about special requests

A look at the Rose Bowl logo

The front logo of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California. Photo Credit: Larry Brown/Larry Brown Sports

The Rose Bowl on Wednesday finally agreed to become a part of the expanded College Football Playoff, but “The Granddaddy of Them All” wants special treatment. Will the CFP be able to make that happen?

The College Football Playoff board of managers voted in September to expand the CFP to 12 teams starting in 2026. The Rose Bowl was the only one of the six bowls that rotate as CFP hosts that resisted the expansion. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports that after months of negotiations, the CFP gave Rose Bowl officials an ultimatum — get on board or risk being shut out of the next television contract, which begins in 2026.

The Rose Bowl had previously been holding up expansion because it wanted special treatment from the CFP. Namely, they wanted to hold onto their exclusive playing window in the afternoon/evening on New Year’s Day. According to Thamel, CFP officials told Rose Bowl officials that they will make good-faith efforts to accommodate the requests. That would not, however, include the exclusive window for the Rose Bowl that isn’t a part of the CFP.

Nothing could be put into writing because there is no TV contract yet for the expanded CFP format. That means there is essentially a handshake agreement in place between the Rose Bowl and CFP. As Thamel put it, Rose Bowl officials ultimately were aware that “significant special favors” would not be guaranteed if they want to remain a part of the CFP.

Now that the Rose Bowl is no longer standing in the way of expansion, it is possible we could see a 12-team playoff as early as 2024. We have already gotten a glimpse of what a 12-team bracket would look like if it were in place this season.

Here is what the 12-team College Football Playoff would look like this season

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 Rose Bowl on Wednesday agreed to become part of the expanded College Football Playoff, which paves the way for a 12-team playoff system to be implemented as early as 2024. As a result, fans and the media are starting to think about what the larger field will look like.

Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated shared an image on Twitter of what the College Football Playoff would look like this season if there were 12 teams. The top four conference champions — currently Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC — would receive a bye in the first round. The rest of the field would consist of the remainder of the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams.

You can see the hypothetical bracket below:

First-round games will be played at the higher-ranked team’s home stadium under the current proposal. That would obviously make for some electric environments, even in a situation where a team like Ohio State is expected to steamroll Tulane.

Critics of the 12-team playoff will say some of the games would wind up being mere formalities, but that is no different from the playoffs in most other sports. Some also think a three-loss team should not have a chance to be crowned a national champion, but how is that any different from an NFL Wild Card team winning the Super Bowl?

The Rose Bowl had previously been holding up CFP expansion as the only one of the six current participating bowls to resist the 12-team format. That is because they want special treatment, and the CFP has said they will work with the Rose Bowl to accommodate one particular request.

Rose Bowl makes big decision about College Football Playoff

A look at the Rose Bowl logo

The front logo of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California. Photo Credit: Larry Brown/Larry Brown Sports

The Rose Bowl was the big obstacle standing in the way of early expansion for the College Football Playoff from four to twelve teams. That obstacle no longer exists.

The Rose Bowl on Wednesday caved and agreed to become a part of the expanded CFP. Their decision paves the way for a 12-team playoff as early as 2024. The previous contract under the four-team playoff system ran through 2025 and required the unanimous approval of the six current participating bowls in order to expand early.

The Rose Bowl had previously been holding up expansion because it wanted special treatment from the CFP. Namely, they wanted to maintain their exclusive playing window in the afternoon/evening on New Year’s Day.

The CFP reportedly told the Rose Bowl they would make a good-faith effort to work with them. However, nothing could be put into writing because there is no TV contract yet.

The decision arose because the CFP had put a deadline of November 2022 for the Rose Bowl to agree or risk being left out of the CFP once the current contract expired.

Now, administrators and the CFP will get to work on trying to make the 12-team playoff a reality for 2024.

FOX analyst has ominous warning about College Football Playoff

Joel Klatt on the field

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt during the Michigan Wolverines game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There has always been a great deal of debate surrounding the College Football Playoff rankings, but one analyst feels the system is causing a major issue with the sport.

Joel Klatt of FOX Sports issued an ominous warning after the latest CFP rankings were released on Tuesday. He called the CFP selection committee a “failed experiment.”

“The @CFBPlayoff Ranking Committee is a failed experiment … every indefensible ranking builds distrust in this system … distrust leads to distain (sic) which inevitably ends with disinterest … Not good for the sport we all love!” Klatt wrote.

Klatt did not specify what his issue was with the latest rankings, but the “indefensible ranking” he referred to may have been LSU’s No. 5 ranking ahead of No. 6 USC. LSU is 9-2 and coming off a win over UAB. USC is 10-1 and won a 48-45 thriller on Saturday against ranked opponent UCLA.

A lot of people disagree with LSU being ranked ahead of USC, but Klatt’s criticism of the CFP ranking system is one of the strongest we have heard. Another prominent analyst said this week that the CFP may be headed for an “armageddon” scenario.

Report: 1 thing is blocking CFP from early expansion to 12 teams

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 College Football Playoff could soon be expanded to 12 team, but there’s one thing holding it up: the Rose Bowl.

In order to expand the CFP in 2024, there must be a unanimous agreement among everyone involved in the existing 12-year contract. Thus far, the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Peach and Cotton Bowls and their officials are all in agreement. Those representing the Rose Bowl are not.

“The possibility of early entry to an expanded College Football Playoff is not something we’re against,” Laura Farber, the chair of the Rose Bowl Management Committee, told ESPN earlier this month. “We continue to work with the CFP on this issue. We last spoke two weeks ago to the CFP, but have not heard back from the CFP.”

The remaining hang-up is that the Rose Bowl wants to keep its traditional date and time (2:00 p.m. PT on January 1). However, the expansion proposal approved by the other five bowls would have the six games host quarterfinals and semifinals in a rotation.

In years when they are not hosting a CFP game, the Rose Bowl wants to pit teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten against each other in their traditional window. The 11-member CFP Board of Managers are not willing to offer that. For now.

“Everything else can be resolved or has been resolved,” a high-ranking source told Sports Illustrated.

If the Rose Bowl and its officials don’t join the others in agreement, the earliest the CFP can be expanded is 2026. That would cost the CFP an estimated $450 million in revenue over the next two seasons.

The 106-year-old game, dubbed “Granddaddy of Them All,” is a tradition unlike any other and has played host to some of the best games ever played.

SEC gets major favoritism in latest CFP rankings

Brian Kelly at the podium

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the SEC is receiving favoritism in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The latest edition of the CFP rankings for the 2022 college football season were released on Tuesday. Georgia unsurprisingly and deservedly was at No. 1, while undefeated teams Ohio State, Michigan and TCU rounded out the top four.

Tennessee, which is 8-1 and just lost to No. 1 Georgia, was ranked No. 5. Oregon, another 8-1 team, was No. 6. And then the SEC favoritism began.

LSU, which is 7-2, was ranked No. 7, ahead of a 1-loss USC team. Alabama, which is also 7-2, was ranked No. 9, ahead of three 1-loss teams (Clemson, Ole Miss and UCLA).

Bob Corrigan, who is the CFP Selection Committee Chair, is sending a mixed message.

“We value wins,” Corrigan said on ESPN of ranking 9-0 TCU at No. 4.

On one hand, the CFP says it values wins, but on another, they rank 2-loss LSU and Alabama teams ahead of several 1-loss teams that have more wins.

Additionally, Georgia is the No. 1 team in the country, while another SEC team (Tennessee) is next in line to make the CFP at No. 5.

The CFP may be trying to do the rankings as fairly as possible, but their SEC bias is evident as ever. In almost any spot where there was a question, SEC teams were given an edge.