Will the College Football Playoff be expanding? Paul Finebaum believes it happens before 2025
Did the College Football Playoff tip its hand last week?
Paul Finebaum certainly believes it did.
If you missed the news last week, the College Football Playoff management committee issued a statement following its latest annual meeting. While noting the Playoff is happy with the current four-team format, the committee also acknowledged as many as 63 possibilities for change to the Playoff were discussed during the meeting, including 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- and 16-team Playoff options.
The current College Football Playoff format is set to run through the 2025 season.
During his weekly Monday morning appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM program The Roundtable, Finebaum shared his belief that the College Football Playoff will be expanding before the current contract expires at the end of the 2025 college football season.
“We are definitely going to see an expansion before the end of this contract. That was clearly the subliminal message from this release Friday,” Finebaum said on the show. “When I first saw it, I got thrown off. By putting the 16 (team Playoff option) in there, you just said, there’s no way. They’re just playing games with us.
“But the closer you read it, the more you thought about it, it makes sense. And I think this is a conversation really about not only the college football playoff but about television. They’re sending a message that we are at least willing to have a conversation, a serious conversation, before the end of this contract, and I think because of that, they’ve opened the door.”
The way the ESPN host sees things, recent broadcast contracts announced by the NFL, NHL, and soccer have proven that networks are interested in spending top dollar for sports rights at the moment.
Finebaum believes the power brokers in college football have seen this and are reacting to capitalize on the current bubble before it may pop.
“I think there’s also a feeling to that with so much money being spent right now, on (broadcast) rights — we just got through watching the NHL became a big story, we know that the NFL was the biggest contract ever,” Finebaum continued. “We see all kinds of crazy stuff going on with soccer.
“And I think the people that run college football, and we all know who they are, they’re the major commissioners and select presidents, have decided to try to take advantage of the market. The market is very, very good right now, and I know it’s hard to believe that we’re sitting here in April of 2021 talking about it, but it is obvious. And I think they want to get this thing going now rather than three or four years from now when you cannot predict the outcome of where we will be from an economic standpoint.”
College football has never passed up an opportunity to make money, and as Finebaum points out, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.