A day earlier, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren did not rule out Big Ten expansion in the future.
“I know from where we sit we’re always constantly evaluating what’s in the best interests of the conference,” Warren said. “It will be interesting to see how that story that you mentioned yesterday, how that evolves and where it lands.”
Smith, a former member of the College Football Playoff committee, also said he is warming to the idea of a 12-team format replacing the four-team version that has been in place since 2014.
Initially he was concerned a field that large could hurt the interest in the regular season across the country.
“But the more I thought about it and talked about it, I think it would probably increase the interest in the regular season across the board,” he said, acknowledging it might actually reduce the importance of the regular season for the Buckeyes because they likely could lose one or even two games and still get into the tournament . “So I’m not talking about us. I’m talking about the opportunities for others. So for college football, across the board that might make it better. So I’ve kind of leaned in and believe that 12 is probably the right number.”
He acknowledged the scheduling format still needs to be worked out, but he cast doubt on the possibility a game could be eliminated from the regular season.
“I don’t think you can reduce it to (11) because that impacts all the other schools who aren’t in it,” Smith said. “So imagine we weren’t in it. You’re taking away a game and taking away revenue. You can’t do that. So to me, we’ve got to figure out what’s the date of the games, what’s the spacing. Players want to play. They don’t want to practice. So when you get to that time, what’s the practice rules? How do you make sure you they protect their bodies? So, that has to be continually looked at.”