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New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff wasted no time making his feelings known about the size of the College Football Playoff.

Kliavkoff said in his introductory news conference Thursday afternoon that the Pac-12 supported an expansion of the four-team College Football Playoff. His comments came less than an hour after the conference had introduced him as the successor to departing commissioner Larry Scott. 

The Pac-12 has been the Power Five conference most left out of the four-team playoff. A Pac-12 team has failed to make the playoff in each of the last four seasons since Washington made the field after the 2016 season. Washington was just the second team from the conference to make the playoff after Oregon did in the format’s first season.

To put that futility in perspective, Alabama and Clemson have each made the playoff six times. Ohio State and Oklahoma each have twice the number of playoff appearances as the Pac-12 and Notre Dame — in 2018 and 2020 — has made the playoff as much as the Pac-12 has as a whole.

Playoff has discussed expansion

Expansion of the playoff seems as inevitable as it’s ever been following a recent statement by the playoff committee. So Kliavkoff could get his wish sooner rather than later. 

The playoff said three weeks ago that it had looked at over 60 ways to expand the four-team playoff. It was the first time the playoff had acknowledged the evaluation of expansion possibilities and could pave the way for a larger playoff in the coming years.

The playoff has been content to remain at four teams since its inception in 2014. And the idea of expansion may not be unanimous among conference commissioners either. SEC commish Greg Sankey recently said that he felt the four-team format “has worked” and “is working.” And that’s certainly true from the SEC’s perspective. 

The SEC is one of just two conferences (along with the ACC) that has had a team in the playoff each season. And the SEC is the only conference to get two teams in the playoff in the same season. Alabama famously beat Georgia in overtime to win the national title in January of 2018. 

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