By now you’re likely tired of my diatribes about the ACCs, and by extension Clemson football, diminished place in the college football landscape that’s likely to become more of a reality in the near future.
The near future got a little closer as the SEC floated the idea of holding its own postseason or playoff.
It apparently goes back to the decision to not expanding the playoff to 12 teams so that the SEC could get, oh, I don’t know, seven or eight of those spots.
"“Whatever collegiality existed among those five commissioners appears to be gone,” said a veteran collegiate official. “Sankey’s in such a catbird seat right now.”The notion of the playoff expanding to 12 teams during the current contract was officially dashed in February, meaning a four-team playoff through the 2025 season. From there, uncertainty has increased about formats."
Rebuffed at his attempt to dominate the other leagues while playing well with others (at least publically), Greg Sankey made a power move.
"SEC commissioner Greg Sankey stressed that no seismic change is imminent. But he did mention that an SEC-only playoff, in a variety of forms, was among the nearly 40 different models that SEC officials discussed at their fall meetings.“As we think as a conference,” he told ESPN on Monday, “it’s vitally important we think about the range of possibilities.”"
My read is this is not an idle threat, but more likely a probability in the future.
"Sankey is calculating. And he’s made abundantly clear he wasn’t pleased there was a lot of time, sweat equity and outreach to other leagues that was wasted when talks of expanding the playoff to 12 collapsed."
Angered by the “Alliance” and not getting half their teams in the playoff, the SEC has decided that they alone should be able to decide the future of college football and took the bull by the horns and I’m not just talking about inviting Texas to join the league.
My read: This is the SEC floating the idea, gauging the response and planning an implementation as soon as contractually allowed.
Could things change? Absolutely, we live in a nutty world, whether we’re talking college football or anything else on the planet.
Sometime in the near future, you and I may be watching Clemson in whatever is left of the College Football Playoff, but most of America will be watching the SEC Playoff presented by whatever corporate entity pays a billion to brand it.
Meanwhile, the ACC ADs are contemplating scheduling games with Big 10 and PAC-12 teams, but not too seriously, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or upset their game for a jug or ax or rusty can.
I don’t necessarily agree with what the SEC is planning and I think it has the potential to end college football as we know it, but I certainly understand the reasons behind it.
College football is a business and, as the old saying goes, one is playing checkers and the other chess.