Kirby Smart calls possible playoff expansion ‘a good thing’

Georgia football-Kirby Smart-quarterback-decision
December 31, 2019 New Orleans: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart takes questions from the media during his head coach press conference on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, in New Orleans. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

There have been exploratory talks by a College Football Playoff subcommittee about possibly expanding the College Football Playoff from the current four teams to possibly as many as 16 teams.

Like most coaches, count Georgia head coach Kirby Smart among those who would like to see the number of College Football Playoff teams increase.

“You finish in the top-10 four-straight years, maybe the top seven or eight in the country, you’re on the outside looking in sometimes because of one game,” Smart said. “You would certainly like that opportunity to grow and get more teams involved in it.”

The current College Football Playoff contract is set to run through the 2025-26 season and it’s unknown if either ESPN or the current conference commissioners would be willing to agree to change the College Football Playoff format.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock did reiterate to ESPN there would be no changes for either this season or next season.

Related: CFP Committee hears future expansion options, continues to support 4-team playoff

If one were to look at future Georgia schedules, you could infer that the Bulldogs are expecting possible College Football Playoff expansion, as the Bulldogs have begun to beef up their non-conference schedules. From 2026 — the year after the current College Football Playoff contract expires — through 2031, Georgia will play three Power 5 non-conference opponents each year.

Georgia once again figures to be one of the top teams in the country and thus vying for a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs open the 2021 season against a team with similar ambitions in Clemson, as the two sides are set to play on Sept. 4 in Charlotte.

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