Opinion: ASU football stands to benefit from alliance, proposed 12-team playoff

Potential interconference matchups between Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten and College Football Playoff expansion can bring national exposure to ASU football

Earlier this semester, the Pac-12 announced it will form an alliance with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten, allowing for interconference matchups that could help propel ASU football to the national spotlight.

Another opportunity that could expand ASU's competition is the potential expansion of the College Football Playoff. The College Football Playoff, a postseason event in which the top four teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision compete for the national title, has been a controversial topic in college sports. 

Currently, only the four teams selected by a committee make the playoff bracket, but a feasibility study was approved last summer to look into the proposed expansion from four to 12 teams. An approval of the expansion is still in question, but it should be expanded — and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff agrees.

"The Pac-12 is 100% in favor of an expansion of the College Football Playoff," Kliavkoff said in an August press conference announcing the alliance. 

The more teams that are in the playoffs, the increased chance a Pac-12 team has to make the playoffs. In the seven-year history of the College Football Playoff, only twice has a Pac-12 team made it: Oregon in the 2014-15 playoffs and Washington in the 2016-17 playoffs.

Increasing the College Football Playoff to more than four teams will make the playoffs more of a tournament instead of two games. It will also broaden the bracket by increasing the number of teams involved. After almost every season of college football, more than four teams deserve a shot at the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy.

Scheduling for the new alliance will begin in the coming years, as there is no set agreement yet. The vision for scheduling is that each team will play two games, one home and one away, per season against teams from the other conferences.

Since the alliance will bring in additional games against teams in the Big Ten and ACC, ASU football’s interconference schedule will consistently stay strong, year after year. Winning tough interconference games will bring nationwide legitimacy to the Pac-12, including ASU football, helping the team's chances of getting into the College Football Playoff picture, especially if the bracket expands.

ASU football would have the opportunity to play some schools for the first time in history, including Clemson, Georgia Tech and Indiana University. These games could be nationally broadcasted to football fans on both coasts, expanding ASU’s exposure and possibly generating more Sun Devils fans across America.

Born and raised in South Florida, I grew up a fan of the University of Miami, a university in the ACC. With the alliance, ASU will have a chance to play Miami for the first time since 1997. I am looking forward to the day my college team plays against my hometown team for the first time in my life. 

Interconference games bring together different cultures of football. The 305 is a culture of its own. In the 1980s, The U was known as the "Bad Boys" in college football, bringing swagger and attitude like no other. Currently, Miami is not as strong as its dynasty in the 80s was, but the culture is still there. Bringing that culture to the Valley of the Sun will be an interesting matchup that I am excited to see.

Rebecca Munn, a junior studying biological sciences, has similar feelings about the alliance. She grew up a fan of Pennsylvania State University, which is in the Big Ten Conference, thanks to her dad.

"I am looking forward to the matchup between ASU and Penn State in the future," she said. 

Penn State and ASU only met once before on the football field, way back in 1977 in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State took the game 42-30

"It will be interesting to see the team that I grew up with ... play against the university that I attend now," Munn said.


Reach the columnist at amsolom2@asu.edu and follow @_alexmarie on Twitter.

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Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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