The Latest: Nikki Haley on Tigers sideline before title game

The Latest: Nikki Haley on Tigers sideline before title game
Fans wait for the start of the NCAA college football playoff championship game between Alabama and Clemson Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the College Football Playoff national championship (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was on the Clemson sideline before the national championship game with Alabama.

Her presence is not surprising: Haley is a Clemson graduate and was governor of South Carolina from 2010 until her appointment to the UN by President Donald Trump in January 2017.

She resigned her post last year, leaving office on Dec. 31.

Haley posed for pictures with Clemson supporters and spoke for a few minutes with Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey.

Even though her Tigers have split a pair of championship contests with the Crimson Tide, this is Haley’s first time watching in person. “I had been working,” she said with a smile.

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1:40 p.m.

The College Football Playoff is not close to expanding.

After a month of chatter about possible changes to the four-team playoff, the conference commissioners and university presidents who constitute the playoff brain trust met Monday at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose and quelled the speculation.

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum said in a statement it was “way too soon” to know if expansion of the format to include more participants was even a possibility. The playoff is in its fifth season. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson will play in the national championship game Monday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Keenum told reporters the consensus was “very pleased” with the current four-team setup. He said there was discussion about ways to improve the playoff.

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