Week 4 was yet another weekend of the Pac-12 cannibalizing itself on the football field as the conference’s highest ranked team lost (No. 10 Utah to USC on Friday), No. 24 Arizona State fell at home to a Colorado squad without its best player and the only undefeated team left out West is now the rather surprising story of Cal, which emerged from Oxford with a win at an SEC program.
Given the strength of the elite teams at the top of the other Power Five conferences right now, one would hardly be surprised if the Pac-12 missed out on the College Football Playoff yet again as a result of everything that’s happened the past month. While that’s not a driving force in the league possibly seeking changes to the postseason structure in the sport, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has apparently softened his stance on expansion beyond four teams in the Playoff — telling the San Jose Mercury News that conversations are being had over increasing the CFP’s size while noting that the bottom line is his conference simply has to play better regardless.
“I don’t care if it’s four teams, six teams, eight teams or 12 teams, if we’re not elite and winning regularly, I don’t think that really changes fundamentally the overall, because we’ll be compared to our peers, and we need to do better compared to our peers,” Scott said. “I’ve started conversations with my peers that make up the management committee of the College Football Playoff. I don’t think there’s anything imminent. We’ve got contracts through 2026 with ESPN. That doesn’t mean something couldn’t happen earlier, but there are some significant impediments…
“I’m engaged in those conversations. I’m open to the fact that there could be a better mousetrap, even though the move from the BCS to the playoff has been really good overall.”
Scott said just this summer that it’s still too early for the playoff expansion talk but it seems pressure from the league’s fans, AD’s and coaches to make the annual postseason event is only growing stronger. There are few conferences who would benefit more from the move beyond four slots than the Pac-12 but the folks out West have been somewhat resistant to leading the charge for change.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s about to change.