CFP management committee meeting ends without decision on rapid expansion to 12-team format

ROSEMONT, Ill. — After a lengthy in-person meeting on Tuesday, the college football playoff management committee still needs more time to determine if the playoffs can expand to 12 teams as early as 2024, the CFP executive director said. , Bill Hancock.

“We won’t finish this week,” Hancock told a small group of reporters following a meeting that lasted nearly seven hours at Big Ten headquarters. “It’s never been done before, obviously. And so any time you have new ground to explore, it takes a lot of talking to make sure you don’t miss any details.”

The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick will meet again for two hours on Wednesday morning, but expect to hear more at an Oct. 20 meeting in Dallas. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said the group would have video conferences by then.

Hancock said the commissioners continued to discuss the possibility of moving the entire season to Week 0 to accommodate an expanded field, but there are still questions about the feasibility of implementing such a drastic change so quickly. An earlier start would move the conference championship games to Thanksgiving weekend.

“I think most people look at this as a future item, a long-term item,” he said. “I don’t want to rule anything out, but that’s my answer.”

Tuesday was the second in-person meeting of the steering committee this month after the 11 presidents and chancellors who make up the CFP’s board of governors voted unanimously on September 2 to expand the playoffs to 12 teams in 2026, otherwise earlier.

Hancock said commissioners were continuing to discuss revenue shares and ticket allocations for first-round games, and needed to see if hotels and convention centers in host cities could accommodate an expanded field sooner. The CFP has already announced that Atlanta will host the national championship game in January 2025, followed by Miami in 2026.

Hancock said conversations with Atlanta have been “healthy,” but they “have some work to do with other business in the community.”

“It’s harder,” Hancock said of 2024. “It’s going to be harder because it comes first.”

They also need to figure out how the six New Year’s Bowls will handle the rotation, as all four quarter-final matches and two semi-final matches would be played in bowls. They are expected to agree on a TV contract for the first-round matches. (ESPN would retain control, through existing bowl and playoff deals, of the quarterfinals, semifinals, and title game until the current contract expires after the 2025 season.)

About Donnie R. Losey

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