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SEC may have a nuclear option: Its own College Football Playoff

The SEC remains the king of college football, winning 12 of the last 16 national championships, and all but three playoffs, but now the conference might be on the verge of proposing something radical: its own playoff.

With major players like Texas and Oklahoma planning a move to the SEC in the near future, the conference is looking at every possibility.

An SEC playoff?

“One idea certain to be discussed by SEC officials in Destin is the notion of the SEC creating, running and profiting from its own intra-SEC postseason,” according to an ESPN report. 

“The most obvious model is an eight-team one, but there are others that will be discussed.

“SEC commissioner Greg Sankey stressed that no seismic change is imminent. But he did mention that an SEC-only playoff, in a variety of forms, was among the nearly 40 different models that SEC officials discussed at their fall meetings.”

The idea comes on the heels of the College Football Playoff failing to agree on an expansion plan after the SEC voted to add Oklahoma and Texas.

ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 officials pressed pause on playoff expansion after the SEC added those two schools, throwing the process off course until at least 2026.

What would it look like?

Right now, the SEC determines its football champion by putting the top teams in the East and West divisions on the same field.

But in a playoff situation, the league could stage four postseason games over the entire month of December involving the top half of the conference.

  • No. 1 vs. No. 8
  • No. 2 vs. No. 7
  • No. 3 vs. No. 6
  • No. 4 vs. No. 5

The final winner of that process could play against another conference winner. Or all the conference winners. Or a selected team from the so-called "Alliance". The lack of any definitive answers is the point of the process at this stage.

"As we think as a conference, it's vitally important we think about the range of possibilities," Sankey said.

“We need to engage in blue-sky thinking, which is you detach from reality. What are the full range of possibilities?”

(h/t ESPN)


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