The Impact Of A College Football Playoff Expansion, More Than Meets The Eye

  • The College Football Playoff won’t be expanded until “at least 2023.”
  • Expansion could forever change the Rose Bowl along with others.
  • A bidding war could decide the future of the College Football Playoff.

LAS VEGAS – Since the inception of the College Football Playoff it was clear that a four-team bracket wasn’t going to suffice. Now, it seems that expansion is on the doorstep, but it may be more complicated than it seems in making it a reality.

When Will Expansion Happen?

The College Football Playoff (CFP) executive director, Bill Hancock, has gone on record saying that there won’t be expansion until at least 2023.

The belief around the league is that it is expected to happen sooner rather than later, with the most expected result being expansion heading into the 2024 season. Online sportsbooks don’t have betting odds available for when the expansion will happen, likely because there are many factors into conducting the expansion, probably more than the general public acknowledges.

What Needs To Be Done To Make It Happen?

It seems that the main complication for expansion will be how the CFP can figure out how to make the most money which essentially comes down to broadcasting rights. The CFP signed a 12-year deal with ESPN, and it’s unconfirmed just exactly how the deal would work with potential expansion.

Does ESPN automatically get the rights? Do they need to pay for the additional games? Can they afford it? Will it be up for bid for other networks?

All of these questions need to be answered to make the expanded playoff work.

Impacts Expansion Could Have

Further, those familiar with betting on college football could see some unusual matchups in bowl games, specifically the Rose Bowl. “The Granddaddy Of Them All” is known for its Pac-12 vs Big Ten matchups, but that could be no longer under expansion.

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If the Rose Bowl wants to be a CFP Bowl game, it will have to forfeit its tie-ins to follow the projected CFP bracket. This is the type of impact that most people don’t think about when wishing for expansion.

Whether or not this matters is up to the individual, but it will surely be a big difference.

Potential Road Blocks

It seems that expansion is not an if, but rather a when. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways expansion gets held up, such as player compensation.

With players being able to profit from their name, image and likeness, there’s a case to be made that the players should be profiting from the expanded playoff as they are the ones providing the product on the field. Nobody wants to forfeit money when they don’t have to, but it will be a tough conversation to have since players making money is such a new concept.

CFP Odds

Whether an expanded playoff will result in any significant results is up for debate, but the odds seem to suggest the usual group of teams remain the heavy favorites to win the national title.

2021-2022 NCAA National Championship Winner

  • Alabama +250
  • Clemson +400
  • Georgia +500
  • Ohio State +600
  • Oklahoma +600
  • Iowa State +2500
  • LSU +3500
  • Texas A&M +3500
  • Florida +4000

It’s easy to see just how far ahead of the field the top teams are and the expanded playoff would likely not change these odds too much.