CFP board of managers to meet, with ‘momentum’ toward playoff expansion

Sources confirmed to ESPN that if the 11 presidents and prime ministers that make up the sport’s most powerful group vote on a format and agree on a format, the governing council of the college football playoffs will hold a virtual meeting on Friday at the earliest. Possibly accelerating playoff expansion in 2024. on Wednesday.

“There’s momentum,” a source with knowledge of the conversation told ESPN. “Definitely motivated.”

The source said it was 50-50 whether there would be any kind of vote. Sports Illustrated first reported the meeting.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock declined to confirm or deny the report. The CFP’s governing board, made up of 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, is expected to meet next week to continue its expansion discussions, but members are waiting to hear the president’s decision — if any — on Friday .

If there is progress in expanding the playoffs under the current contract, the meeting will give commissioners an opportunity to pore over the details of the structure set by the president.

CFP is entering the final four years of a 12-year contract with ESPN that expires after the 2025 season. In order to scale up before the end of the contract, a unanimous decision by the President and Prime Minister must be obtained.

Often, commissioners are tasked with figuring out the model, and if they can unanimously agree, they’ll take it to the Governing Council for approval, as the president and chancellor have ultimate authority over the playoffs.

After 10 months of debate and tense meetings filled with distrust that often came out in public, the commissioners ended the discussion in February with an 8-3 vote. The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 voted against the original 12-team proposal, which included the six highest-ranked conference champions, and the next six highest-ranked teams.

10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame lost about $450 million in potential revenue by opting to stay with four teams for another four years. Since then, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have all publicly expressed support for expansion.

In July, at Pac-12 media day, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN that he thinks the format could change before the contract ends.

“We are closer than ever to agreeing on a format,” he said. “The lack of agreement on the format kept us from doing it fast, rather than doing it slowly.

“I said that when we first met. Once you agree on a format, you can just plug it into the existing contract. If we agree on what the existing contract will look like after that, why don’t you try to do it? ?hurry up?”

While there is a sense that the process is moving very quickly, sources say there is also concern that it may now be rushed and that there are too many unresolved issues. If the president were to vote on a format, there would still be debate among commissioners about whether the conference champion should automatically get a seat, how revenue would be distributed and what the bowl system would look like — especially the Rose Bowl.

USA Track and Field Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said his conference would be open to 12 or 16 teams and having all 10 FBS conference champions make automatic bids “would be ideal.”

“It’s going to be energizing and really help college football get healthier,” Aresco said. “It’s going to make a championship weekend huge. We think a 16-team playoffs is something we should definitely consider, and if it includes 10 automatics and six free agents, that would be great for college football.”

Further conference realignment also remains a factor, as sources indicate that a Big Ten expansion is possible in addition to the upcoming additions of USC and UCLA.

The presidents also held a virtual meeting earlier this month and briefly discussed the possibility of reorganizing the way college football is managed, with one idea being to bring FBS under the CFP’s stewardship.

“I think it’s very active and, as with the CFP, discussions are continuing to move forward,” one source said.

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