The SEC is considering an intraconference playoff in response to the uncertain future of the College Football Playoff and the conference’s impending expansion to 16 teams, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Monday.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey told ESPN that many options would be considered at the league’s spring meetings next week as the conference evaluates the CFP’s future after the 2025 season. Talks about a CFP expansion to 12 teams were started last year but fell apart after support eroded from other conferences.
“We need to engage in blue-sky thinking, which is you detach from reality. What are the full range of possibilities?” Sankey said to ESPN, noting that postseason changes are not imminent.
Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin told ESPN that schools will “absolutely” consider an all-SEC playoff.
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What would it look like? The ESPN report speculated an 8-team playoff would be the most logical format. It’s likely that, given the NCAA’s recent rule change allowing conferences to decide how teams qualify for conference championship games, the SEC divisional format will be scrapped if the league reformulates its conference schedules.
That would allow the league to reshape conference play ahead of Texas and Oklahoma’s entry into the SEC no later than 2025. That would impact how the SEC would determine playoff teams in an intraconference postseason.