October 5, 2022

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College Football Playoff to expand to 12-team format

College Football Playoff to expand to 12-team format

The College Football Playoff Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday to expand the CFP to 12 teams in 2026, but is encouraging sports commissioners to try to implement it as soon as possible by 2024.

In what was billed as a “historic day for college football,” the 11 board chairs and advisors approved the original 12-team model, which was first announced last summer and features six top-ranked conference champions and six top teams. , the board announced on Friday.

“There are still quite a few issues to be resolved – some very obvious logistical issues to be resolved – but hopefully we can resolve them. [the commissioners] Mississippi President Mark Keenum, CFP Chairman, said. “To move forward on this as quickly as possible.” We have asked our commissioners, the Management Committee, to explore the possibility of starting the 12-team playoff format before the 2026 season, either in 2024 or 2025.”

The 10 FBS Commissioners and Notre Dame Sports Director Jack Swarbrick will meet next Thursday in Irving, Texas, to begin discussions about the possibility of implementing the format as early as 2024.

The teams’ standings will continue to be determined by the CFP Selection Committee, which will remain largely unchanged.

The four highest-ranked conference champions will be ranked from one to four, and each will receive a goodbye in the first round. Teams seeded five through 12 will play each other in the first round in either the second or third weekend of December. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played in alternating pot matches, and the championship match will be at a neutral location, as in the current four-team format.

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“This is an exciting day for the future of college football,” Supreme Football Council Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “As originally suggested, the 12-team playoff creates more access for teams and conferences across the country to compete in the college football championship event. There is work to be done to make this format a reality, but I am glad we are all moving in the same direction. for a common purpose.”

The 12-team model was originally put together by Sankey, Swarbrick, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. It was introduced publicly in June 2021 but faltered due to conference policies. In February, CFP announced that it would not expand into the current contract, which expires after the 2025 season.

The main disruption was specific interceptions from the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12. But after the thunderbolt of the reorganization this summer with the USC and UCLA committing to the Big Ten and that conference signing a landmark television deal, problems from those leagues began to fade into the background.

“Pac-12 strongly supports the expansion of the CFP and welcomes the decision of the CFP Board,” Pac-12 said in a statement on Friday. “The CFP expansion will provide increased reach and excitement and is just the right thing for student-athletes and fans. We look forward to working with our conference colleagues to finalize important elements of the expanded CFP in order to launch it as soon as practicable.”

When Keenum was asked specifically about those three conferences now voting in favor of expansion, he said it’s about those tournaments and everyone else is “doing their due diligence” and talking to everyone in their tournaments.

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“They took the time, they put in the effort to get to this point,” Keenum said. “And so I think it was just a cumulative effort by all of these individuals to get to the point where they feel – not just these specific conferences, but all of the conferences on the board – have gone through the same process.”

After a year of hesitation and mistrust between commissioners that was exacerbated and sometimes played in public, chiefs have dominated decision-making in recent weeks. Chiefs and advisors have ultimate authority over the play-off, but commissioners usually present them with a plan for approval.

Two weeks ago, the CFP board held an unannounced call, to discuss expansion and the possibility of starting the 12-team playoff amid the current contract structure. It manifested itself on Friday afternoon, a historic day in the sport, on the cusp of the official start of the football season on Saturday.

When asked why now, on the Friday of Labor Day weekend and the opening of the college football season, Keenum said: “It’s about time.”

“It’s time to make a decision,” he said. “We need to give directions to the commissioners. We felt we needed to give them a final thought, ‘This is where we are.'” This is where we think college football should head in regards to the playoff for our national champion. “…I think our commissioners need that guidance from this board, and so I’m glad we were able to give it to them today.”

“Pac-12 strongly supports the expansion of the CFP and welcomes the decision of the CFP Board,” Pac-12 said in a statement on Friday. “The CFP expansion will provide increased reach and excitement and is just the right thing for student-athletes and fans. We look forward to working with our conference colleagues to finalize important elements of the expanded CFP in order to launch it as soon as practicable.”

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It could take weeks or months to work out the possibility of a 12-team playoff in 2024 or 2025. In mid-August, the CFP announced that Atlanta would host the national championship game in 2025, followed by Miami in January 2026. While CFP officials have put obstacles in front of such as This sudden move – accommodations, hotels, TV contracts – money could loom as a powerful catalyst for change.

“We are not naive to understand that there is an added value by having an expanded playoff, but I can tell you by being involved in these discussions from the start, what motivated me and the Chiefs as well was that we needed to have a chance to get more teams involved in the game,” Keenum said. Our Country National Championship.” “With only four teams, we felt this was not fair to our student-athletes from a participation point of view… We are aware of the additional revenue that will be available, but that was not the driving force behind this final decision. It wasn’t.”