Group of 5 conference issues strong statement in response to Pac-12's call for CFP automatic bids for Power 5 champions
College Football Playoff expansion is officially moving forward but a clear issue to be settled has emerged.
Under the proposed expansion recommended by the CFP working group, the field of 12 teams would include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the six highest-ranked other teams as determined by the CFP selection committee. No conference would qualify automatically and there would be no limit on the number of participants from a conference.
On Friday, outgoing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement saying the conference supports Playoff expansion but believes the Autonomy Five (Power 5) conference champions should receive automatic bids:
“The Pac-12 supports expansion of the CFP and believes that the Autonomy Five champions should annually qualify for the CFP. We greatly appreciate the work of the CFP sub-committee as well as the thoughtful and productive discussions amongst the management committee this week in Chicago. We now look forward to reviewing the expansion proposal more thoroughly with our members, student-athletes, partners and other key stakeholders.”
As one might expect, Scott’s request isn’t sitting well with (at least) one Group of 5 conference. Sun Belt commissioner Keith Gill issued a strong statement Friday night saying CFP bids should be “earned not given”:
“The Sun Belt Conference supports College Football Playoff expansion, including the working group’s recommendation to have the six highest-ranked conference champions in the field. Playoff spots should be earned and not given. Under the proposed system, if you are a deserving team, you should have no concerns of being left out of the Playoff. I look forward to continuing the conversation next week with the CFP Board of Managers.”
Earned and not given was emphasized in the Sun Belt’s tweet sharing the statement.
— Sun Belt (@SunBelt) June 19, 2021
CFP director Bill Hancock says expansion won’t become official until September at the earliest. Hopefully, the issue of Playoff bids gets settled in the next couple of months.