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Big 12 Commissioner: ‘Some Latitude’ in Moving College Football Playoff Back

There are a crazy number of delayed or postponed college football games this weekend due to COVID-19 issues, and an obvious question has arisen: why don’t they just move the conference championships and playoffs back?

Fans will be glad to know that this is something that has been discussed.

“I am on the CFP operations committee, and we spent some time talking about that,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said on SiriusXM, as transcribed by ESPN. “We have not come to any closure on it, but there is some latitude to postpone it if that need should arise. The same is true with some of the New Year’s Six games. I don’t know if I see us playing a championship game in February, but you just never know. These are unusual times, and things that might not otherwise be acceptable have to be considered in this kind of circumstance.”

CFP director Bill Hancock told ESPN’s Heather Dinich that “nothing imminent” is happening as far as pushing the playoffs back, and that they’re going to wait as long as possible to make a decision.

We’ve run into similar questions for the NFL, which has steadfastly refused to add a Week 18 to their regular season to accommodate games that don’t happen as scheduled due to COVID. The league is clearly hellbent on sprinting to the end of this season. There was one circumstance where they moved eight games around to avoid a Week 18, and they’d probably add an extra playoff team in this conference now if any games from here on out are canceled, which they probably will be.

Surely, ESPN and the conferences would strongly prefer to keep the playoffs where they are, as New Year’s Day is a huge TV viewership day.

Let me throw out an additional solution, as long as we are talking about moving the playoffs back: Expand to six or eight teams. This added TV revenue would make up for a lot of games that have been missed this season due to reduced schedules and missed games. It would also balance out some of the issues with teams in the SEC, Big 12, and ACC playing more games than schools in the Big Ten and Pac-12. The same issues may still exist in an expanded playoffs, but they will be less unfair on the margins, especially if you compare the distinction between the sixth and seventh best team and the fourth and fifth.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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  1. I agree that the playoffs should be expanded to 8 teams and teams like Cincinnati and BYU should be considered if they remain undefeated. It’s too difficult to gauge who’s better than who this year – particularly since there were very few non-conference games.

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