Stanford coach David Shaw thinks College Football Playoff expansion is coming no matter what


LOS ANGELES — It goes without saying that a big topic at Pac-12 Media Day on Wednesday is centered where the league isn’t as opposed to where it is. Namely, that would be the College Football Playoff, which the conference has missed out on two seasons in a row and three of the five years the format has been in existence.

While expansion is an evergreen topic when it comes to the postseason format, it’s a particularly pointed question out West given the Pac-12’s struggles to make the cut in recent years. Though leaders from the university president-level on down have been fairly measured when it comes to discussing doubling the number of teams making the Playoff, Stanford coach David Shaw was rather pointed in remarking that a move to eight teams is something set in concrete even if the details still need to be worked out.

“There is no way we stay at four teams. From the day it was announced, I said that’s awesome, that’s good and that’s what we need… until we get to eight,” said Shaw. “Every single year there’s one, two and sometimes three teams that raise their hand and have a legitimate case to go to the Playoff. The only way to truly get it right is to have eight teams at the end of the year battling for that national championship.

“All I’m saying is that I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s going to happen. If we can go from 64 to 65 to 68 (in the NCAA basketball tournament), we can go from four to eight. Don’t talk about time, we can make it work.”

Shaw knows a thing or two about expanded playoffs given his lengthy experience in the NFL and he’s among the most plugged in head coaches at the college level given his position on the NCAA Football Rules Committee. While his position isn’t quite echoed at an official level in the Pac-12, he’s not alone out West in hoping for CFP expansion happening sooner rather than later.

Former Navy coach Niumatalolo joins UCLA staff

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LOS ANGELES – Former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is joining UCLA’s coaching staff as director of leadership.

The school said in an announcement Friday that Niumatalolo will serve as an advisor to the Bruins’ football staff and players.

Niumatalolo led Navy for 15 years and was the winningest coach in school history at 109-83. The Midshipmen, however, finished with losing records the past three seasons, including 4-8 the past two.

Navy played in 10 bowl games under Niumatalolo. He also was the only coach to win his first eight games in the storied Army-Navy rivalry.

Troy, Jon Sumrall agree to new 4-year contract through 2026

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TROY, Ala. ⁠— Jon Sumrall agreed to a new four-year contract as Troy’s coach after leading the Trojans to a Sun Belt Conference championship and national ranking in his debut season.

The school announced the deal, which runs through 2026, but didn’t release details.

The Trojans went 12-2 and won their final 11 games, second only to national champion Georgia, including the league championship game and the Cure Bowl against UTSA. For the first time, they finished a season ranked, ending up 19th in The Associated Press Top 25.

“When we appointed Coach Sumrall in December 2021, we challenged him to return Troy football to the top of the Sun Belt Conference,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “It didn’t take long, as the 2022 season was the best in our FBS history.”

Troy held all 14 of its opponents to under their season average in scoring, beating UTSA 18-12. The Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 in the Sun Belt title game.

“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said.