CFP expansion proposal: How player safety factors into the equation

Gold and Blue Nation

The proposed expansion to the college football playoff has generated excitement throughout the sport, but there are some concerns about a larger field. 

Most of those concerns revolve around player safety, and possible repercussions from a longer season. If the tournament does expand in 2023, the teams that advance to the late rounds will compete in more games than a normal college football season by today’s standards. The teams that advance to the championship game could play as many as 16 or 17 games. 

But that won’t be the case for every program. Leaders of the committee that developed the expansion proposal were quick to point out this month that most teams in the expanded tournament would still play the same amount of games, and that the four byes given to top seeds would provide both a competitive advantage and opportunity to rest. 

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey thinks the proposal is a fair one. 

“This is not a dictate, this is a fulfillment of an assignment and an opportunity to look at how might the game continue to transform itself but also keeping in mind that delicate balance that does exist around so many elements, first and foremost the support of our student-athletes,” Sankey said. 

The proposal also opens the door to a first for the CFP: playing games at campus sites. According the the proposal, first round games would be hosted by high seeds at campus venues, while games in the quarterfinals and beyond would be played at bowl sites. 

Last week, the College Football Playoff board of managers authorized a summer review phase for the CFP expansion, which will take feedback from student-athletes, coaches and administrators into consideration. 

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