Whittingham On Expanded Playoff, Changes To Traditional Bowl Games

Jul 29, 2022, 6:55 PM | Updated: 7:14 pm
Kyle Whittingham - Rose Bowl Press Conference...
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)

LOS ANGELES- College football is rapidly heading toward an expanded playoff system indicating the demise of traditional bowl games such as the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl, both of which Kyle Whittingham and the Utes have played in. Change in any arena is inevitable, and Whittingham had some thoughts at Pac-12 Media Day about where the sport is heading next.

What An Expanded Playoff Means For Bowl Games

With USC and UCLA making a bold move to the Big Ten in 2024 and Oklahoma and Texas on their way to the SEC, it feels like we are on a collision course to an expanded playoff system in college football featuring two super conferences. In Whittingham’s mind college football hasn’t been fully utilizing the money they could be making with a more substantial playoff system.

“There’s so much revenue being left on the table, not having a full-blown Playoff,” Whittingham said. “That’s what drives everything these days, always has, actually.”

Looking around the country, other leagues including the NFL, lower-division college football, and even college basketball have all figured out how to make a playoff system work. When put in that light it is perplexing why Division I football has yet to figure it out. As Whittingham stated, March Madness has been around forever and people like it for the entertainment value, as well as the money it generates.

“Again, it’s like March Madness, March Madness is a great event, generates millions of dollars,” Whittingham said. “I think that we’re heading towards that with the Football Playoffs.”

Still, despite its flaws, the old bowl system has been a pillar of college football that audiences have enjoyed for a long time because of the pageantry they bring to the game. It is Whittingham’s hope there can be a way to salvage some of the better bowls while still moving forward into a playoff system that will more accurately determine the best team in any given year.

“I’m sure there’s got to be a way to incorporate a full field of 12 or 16 teams and still incorporate some of the bowl sites,” Whittingham said. “They all can’t survive obviously. But it’s going to change. Hopefully they’ll figure out a way to maintain and continue to include somewhat of a bowl feel.”

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