SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says intra-SEC playoff is on the table

·2 min read

The SEC is set for a major change in the coming years as Texas and Oklahoma are set to join the conference. The exact timetable is undetermined, but the move will happen no later than 2025.

Expansion will certainly bring changes to the structure of the league, and commissioner Greg Sankey has hinted that a pod format could replace the divisions. But that may not even be the biggest change that will come.

Conference officials will meet in Destin, Florida, next week, and Sankey told ESPN that there are nearly 40 different models that the league has discussed. One of those, per Pete Thamel, is an SEC-exclusive postseason.

“As we think as a conference,” he said on Monday, “it’s vitally important we think about the range of possibilities.

“We need to engage in blue-sky thinking, which is you detach from reality. What are the full range of possibilities?”

Sankey said the league has expanded its thinking since talks of expanding the College Football Playoff to 12 teams stalled during negotiations with the other leagues.

“Those unknowns are on our mind as we think about decision-making down the road,” Sankey said. “This is a fully dynamic environment. … It’s hard to understand where things will end up if you wait for this to play out.

“We wanted to be good collaborators. We think we gave up a lot … what was viewed as a balanced approach given the up-front demands eventually fell apart. We also have the responsibility to think broadly about different possibilities. The SEC will continue to do so.”

These conversations are purely hypothetical right now, and your guess at how a potential intra-league playoff would be structured is as good as ours. But it goes to show that league officials are thinking outside the box as college football is set for a seismic shift to its landscape in the coming years.

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