An expanded 12-team College Football Playoff is not enough for some, as concerns grow that the Big Ten and SEC will dominate playoff bids. The athletic director of Northern Illinois proposes a tournament resembling an NIT for marginalized schools to address the issue of access.

Why It Matters

The Big Ten and SEC's dominance in college football playoffs has raised concerns about the lack of access for other schools, prompting proposals for alternative tournaments to provide opportunities for marginalized teams.

By the Numbers
  • Under the 2024 conference alignments, Big Ten and SEC teams would have accounted for 72.5% of playoff participants since the CFP started in 2014.
  • In the same scenario, teams from the Big Ten and SEC would have averaged 7.6 of 12 playoff spots, despite making up just 25.6% of FBS competitors.
State of Play
  • Concerns are growing over the potential further marginalization of schools not in the Big Ten or SEC due to their dominance in the playoff bids.
  • Alternative proposals, such as a tournament resembling the NIT, are being discussed to provide opportunities for lesser-known teams.
What's Next

The potential for a significant increase in media rights contracts for the expanded CFP, which could impact the value of new CFP deals, is being closely watched.

Bottom Line

The dominance of the Big Ten and SEC in college football playoffs has spurred discussions about access for other schools, leading to proposals for alternative tournaments to address the issue and provide opportunities for marginalized teams.