Sep 5th, 2022 |
132: CFP Expansion and Crazy Money: The Ultimate Unifying Force
On Friday afternoon, September 2, news broke that the CFP Board of Managers voted to expand the CFP from four to twelve teams. This decision is historic and fundamentally changes the post-season football market. It follows years of anguished debate and conflict among and between the Power Five conferences on the appropriate CFP format. The CFP expansion saga was a reliable storyline for the sports media through 2021 and into early 2022. Indeed, the twists and turns of the expansion debate became an online soap opera. Sports media outlets appeared to have CFP expansion sources at the ready 24/7. Curiously, however, there was scant discussion of the possibility of expansion leading up to Friday’s bombshell announcement. The ACC led a values-based opposition to expansion in 2021 and early 2022. The Big Ten and Pac-12 joined in. Changes to the CFP format require unanimity among the CFP governing boards. In January 2022, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said he would veto any expansion until the ACC conducted a 365 review of big-picture college sports issues through a values-based lens. Less than eight months into its year-long study, the ACC (along with the Big Ten and Pac-12) did a U-turn on expansion. This episode discusses the CFP’s corporate structure, its relationship to the values of the NCAA/higher education, and the expansion decision and circumstances that led to it.