Dan Mullen expects future CFP expansion, potential to 'let go' of traditional bowl system
Florida wasn’t one of the four teams to make the College Football Playoff this season, as the Gators ended up at No. 7 in the final CFP rankings following a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. However, if the CFP was expanded to include more teams, then it’s possible Florida would have had an opportunity to contend for the national title.
There have been plenty of comments from those around the sport pushing to expand the CFP to a larger field in recent years. This season, the only four teams that had an opportunity to compete for the national championship were Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Even if the field was expanded to eight teams, it would give double the number of teams a chance.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “Championship Drive” on Monday, Florida head coach Dan Mullen shared his thoughts on the matter, as he indicated that he believes playoff expansion and the removal of the traditional bowl system could be on the horizon at some point.
“When the playoff started and it went to four games, I think it became a matter of time,” Mullen said on the show (h/t Dean Straka of 247Sports.com). “Now, is that time now, or in the future? But I think what we have to do to expand the playoffs is be willing to let go of the old system.”
And if that happened, Mullen acknowledged that things are going to be much different from how they were in the past.
“It’s going to change,” Mullen said. “I think you have to be ready to just embrace the change. Let’s kind of start over, maybe, and say, moving forward, this might be the best way to do it. Now, for a lot of people, that will be a sad day. …
“Now the experience of going for a week to a bowl game … to enjoy the whole bowl festivities is great, but with the playoff, I think college football is moving in a different direction from that, and we have to be ready to accept that if we’re going to expand.”
Florida has yet to make the College Football Playoff since the format began with the 2014 season. But if the field soon expands, it would increase the Gators’ odds of making it in the future. They came close during 2020, so they may already be on the cusp of contention.