Though big changes came to the world of college football over the past year, there has still been no decision on expanding the College Football Playoffs from its current four-team format, which may not inhibit the success of the SEC as a conference, but could make Auburn football’s road to the playoffs that much harder.
While talks to expand the format stalled in February and no change has been made to the playoffs, big changes are coming to the SEC in the coming years as Oklahoma and Texas prepare to leave the Big 12 and become part of the college football elite.
In the era of the College Football Playoffs, an SEC team has competed for the championship title every year but one, and the SEC has put a team in the playoffs every year so far. Several times there has been more than one team from the SEC in the playoffs, affirming itself as a conference where one loss doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of consideration.
However, a one-loss season is a lot to ask for when your program is one that competes with both Alabama and Georgia every single year in addition to the other powerhouse programs in the SEC. While the conference as a whole is not negatively impacted, as SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey notes, it’s not great for the rest of the sport:
"“We can stay at four. This conference will thrive at four… period,” Sankey said. “That’s not healthy for the rest of college football, but we can stay at four.”"
The SEC will undoubtedly continue to send teams to the college football playoffs, but Auburn football is going to have to fight tooth and nail to get that invitation over their fellow SEC programs. In an expanded format, teams would be allowed to take more losses and still have the chance to play for a title.