David Bennett Galloway III has spent most of his life inside the huddle.
The freshman running back now spends his Saturdays suiting up for the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Before that, the South Carolina native starred at Chapin High School. Along the way, he amassed numerous awards and honors for his talents on the field. As a senior, multiple national recruiting services graded him as a three-star recruit. This impressive body of work enabled him to rush right onto the Warhawks’ roster.
David Bennett Galloway III is more than comfortable between the tackles. But, when it comes to his future, he’s very much on the outside.
That’s because college football is rapidly changing. NIL, transfers, and conference realignment are just the start. Yet these ever-evolving rules aren’t being settled on the gridiron. Athletic directors and administrators across the nation are debating their merits and determining new regulations. The expansion of the College Football Playoffs is the latest example.
In September, the playoff’s board of managers voted to expand, implementing a new 12-team format. Even though David Bennett Galloway III is focused on his team, it’s difficult to ignore that these decisions will directly impact the future of the sport he grew up playing.
With this in mind, the freshman walk-on gives his perspective on five questions about the College Football Playoff and its most-recent expansion.
Table of Contents
Why expand now?
In short, the board saw a lot of green. But it wasn’t an open field ahead of them. Like most other decisions, it came down to money. Any delay or keeping the status quo would result in money being left on the table. By acting now, the College Football Playoff is hoping to cash in sooner rather than later.
When will it take effect?
Soon. Or at least that’s what the board is hoping. Their decision instructed commissioners to update the format no later than 2026 when the current contract expires. However, as mentioned, there is a financial incentive to get a new deal done even earlier. They are encouraging a transition for the 2024 season.
Why a 12-team format?
It appears the board found its magic number. Moving to 8 or 16 teams seems to have created logistical hurdles. Using a 12-team system allows for the top four seeds to get first-round byes. This alone was appealing to decision-makers.
How does this impact conference realignment?
Although time will tell, it seems that this may slow realignment in the short term. With automatic bids for the Power 5 conference champions and six at-large bids, conference affiliation is less important than ever. Independents, like Notre Dame, are major winners.
David Bennett Galloway III and others are left wondering, “what’s next?” The latest expansion could just be the beginning of larger moves down the road. But, the board does seem content with a 12-team playoff. How fast the commissioners move to adopt these changes and the length of the next contract may be the best indicators of what other changes may lie ahead.