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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dan Mullen believes 12-team playoff expansion destined to happen

Florida Gators give opinions at SEC Media Week

Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Monday, July 19, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Monday, July 19, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The madness of SEC Media Days continued into Tuesday, and the hot topic of the day was the newly proposed college football playoff expansion.

Opinions are scattered across the NCAA about the expansion proposal. Head coaches such as Clemson’s Dabo Swinney criticized the idea, while Oklahoma Sooners leader Lincoln Riley said that his team’s emotions are a “bit of a mixed bag.”

Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen took the podium to kick off the first day of SEC Media Week Monday and was asked about his thoughts on the playoff expansion. The fifth-year coach seems to have a neutral stance.

“I’m just here to coach football,” Mullen replied. “I think, when the playoffs started, if you’d have asked me, you created the four-team playoff, I said it’s going to change a lot of things about college football, not immediately, but it will in the long haul. I think eventually it will, and eventually, we will end up getting to an expansion. I would imagine that would come sometime in the future.”

Mullen continued his thoughts and explained that everyone, including the CFP committee, is still trying to figure out the right way to handle things.

 “I think we’re still learning, it’s interesting to see,” Mullen continued. “Last year we had several opt-outs during the Bowl game. Last year was also just a very, very difficult year as a whole mentally and emotionally.” 

UF defensive lineman Zach Carter appeared at Media Day with teammate Ventrell Miller Monday. Both athletes shared their points of view, including one of surprise from Carter.

“When I heard about 12 teams, I was kind of like that might have been too many,” Carter said. “Personally I was thinking like eight.”

Linebacker Miller currently has split thoughts, unable to determine which side of the fence he lands on.

“I’m not sure. I don’t really have too many thoughts of that, it could be a good thing but also a bad thing,” Miller pondered. “I don’t really know where I stand on it right now.” 

Head coach Mullen closed his opinions about the expansion with a view towards what he believes to be a hopeful tomorrow.

“I think college football will continue to evolve, and once the playoff system started, I think that was just the first step of the college football old bowl system that we knew going into the future.”

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Contact Jesse Richardson at jrichardson@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352

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