By Jimmy Hyams
When Bill Hancock spoke to the Knoxville Quarterback Club six weeks ago, the executive director of the College Football Playoffs said the playoffs would remain at four games.
When college football writer Brett McMurphy spoke to the QB Club recently, he had this message: Don’t believe Hancock.
McMurphy noted that Hancock also said we would never have a college football playoff when the Bowl Championship Series existed.
McMurphy believes the CFP will expand to eight teams, but not until January 2027, after the current 12-year agreement expires. That also coincides with many of the conference TV deals being renegotiated.
McMurphy not only sees an eight-team playoff, he sees more conference expansion. He thinks the Big Ten and SEC and ACC will go to 16 teams, and the Pac-12 and Big 12 will fight to stay alive, poaching whatever teams they can with only one surviving.
One negative to the eight-team playoff: University presidents don’t want games to be played beyond the second Monday in January so scheduling could be an issue.
McMurphy has been a part of two mock playoff selections. He thinks, if given a choice, the committee would take Oklahoma over Ohio State if each wins a conference title because the Buckeyes suffered a 29-point loss to a 6-6 Purdue team while Oklahoma lost by three to No. 14 Texas. He also pointed out Oklahoma has a 2.3 yards per play differential between its offense and defense while the differential for Ohio State is less than 1 yard per play.
But as McMurphy said: “It’s a beauty pageant. There is no right answer. It is the opinion of 13 people.”
My take: Alabama is in regardless of whether it wins the SEC Championship.
Georgia has to win the SEC to make the field.
Clemson is in if it beats Pitt for the ACC title but could be left out if it loses.
Notre Dame is in without a doubt.
Oklahoma would nudge Ohio State if Georgia losses and Clemson wins.
Last week: 8-1
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Alabama 34, Georgia 24