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SEC commissioner on expanded CFP: ‘We want school soccer to be potent nationally’


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SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is good with continuing to dominate the university soccer landscape but also desires to see the recreation carry on to increase. 

The enlargement of the Higher education Football Playoff to 12 groups commencing in 2026 will enable for a lot more conferences to be represented at the stop of the calendar year, which Sankey believes is most effective for faculty football.  

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on the field for pregame warmups at the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl between the Houston Cougars and the Auburn Tigers Dec. 28, 2021, at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.  

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on the discipline for pregame warmups at the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl involving the Houston Cougars and the Auburn Tigers Dec. 28, 2021, at Protecting Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.  
(Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Visuals)

“My watch is how do you convey additional individuals into November, together with in our league,” Sankey instructed ESPN. “Our league would be fine, even at 16 groups with a 4-group playoff. At 14, we have taken 50 percent the area a pair of times. No one else has accomplished that. When we go to 16 and add Texas and Oklahoma, we are not going to have much less opportunity by incorporating people two. We’re likely to have more.

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“But we’ve excluded the West Coastline and every thing west of the Rockies for all but two years. We want college or university football to be strong nationally, and I think that is the responsibility we all have.”

In early September, the Higher education Soccer Board of Managers voted to broaden to a 12-staff playoff, starting in 2026, when the present-day playoff deal ends. 

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Because the inception of the playoffs in 2014, the SEC has won five of the eight CFP nationwide championships, and just 13 courses have created the playoff. 

The Pac-12 conference has had just two groups make the playoff and has missed out on the CFP in every single of the previous five seasons. 

Head coach Kirby Smart, right, of the Georgia Bulldogs, shakes hands with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey after the Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 in the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. 

Head coach Kirby Good, right, of the Georgia Bulldogs, shakes fingers with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey after the Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 in the 2022 CFP Nationwide Championship Sport at Lucas Oil Stadium Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. 
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Visuals)

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“I’m high-quality if we acquire the championship each and every 12 months, but we have a responsibility to consider about the activity from a even larger photograph,” Sankey stated. “I want to earn and am not heading to apologize for that, but I’m also going to challenge myself and us collectively to feel about the major image.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during the Georgia Bulldogs' national championship celebration Jan. 15, 2022, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during the Georgia Bulldogs’ nationwide championship celebration Jan. 15, 2022, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.
(Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire by using Getty Pictures)

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The SEC has won 12 of the earlier 16 national championships and has 4 groups in the most up-to-date WHD Best 25. In 2025, Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Massive 12 for the SEC, further more strengthening the ideal conference in university football.

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