Ohio State Buckeyes: Gene Smith talks playoff expansion, Big Ten divisions, NIL and more

Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith met with local reporters Wednesday and touched on many of the hottest topics in college athletics.

Here are three highlights:

1. He still believes players’ ability to profit off name, image and likeness should be regulated.

Specifically he is looking for some sort of federal legislation to head off recruiting inducements from third-party collectives.

2. Potential changes to the Big Ten division structure are still being discussed.

Realignment is not on the table, but the schools could decide to follow the lead of some other leagues and eliminate divisions altogether.

Smith also floated the idea of eliminating the conference championship game if it is not impactful anymore in the process of selecting College Football Playoff teams.

3. He thinks a 12-team playoff will happen.

Smith expressed a belief the various issues that have held up the passage of a new playoff structure can be worked out, though it remains to be seen how long that might take.

One he desires is the flexibility to move an early-round game his team might host to a dome.

While fans have long expressed excitement about the potential of Ohio State to host a warm-weather team such as Alabama in a frigid Ohio Stadium in December, Smith said he might rather see his team be able to “host” in a domed stadium in Indianapolis instead to guarantee a quality playing surface.

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