AP sources: Presidents meeting to discuss CFP expansion

University presidents, who oversee the college football playoffs, are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss expanding the four-team format as early as the 2024 season.

University presidents, who oversee the college football playoffs, are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss expanding the four-team format and raise the possibility that a new model for crowning a champion could be introduced as early as the 2024 season.

Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the CFP’s board of directors, led by Mississippi State President Mark Keenum, would meet via videoconference.

There’s no guarantee the presidents will take official action or vote to approve an expansion model, but another person familiar with the situation told the AP they would like to speed up a process that stalled six months ago .

All people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the board’s plans were not made public.

The CFP Administrative Committee, made up of 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, is scheduled to meet in Dallas next week.

The Management Committee is responsible for crafting a format for the CFP, but the Presidents have the final say on what happens to the playoffs.

Back in February, CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock announced that expansion talks between commissioners had not timely achieved the unanimous consensus needed to change the format before the end of the current deal with ESPN. This deal runs until 2025.

The CFP recently announced the league game venues for the last two seasons of the current 12-year contract.

Hancock said back in February that expansion talks would resume later in the year, with a focus on what the playoffs would begin in 2026.

Since then, the commissioners who opposed the proposed 12-team format appear to have softened their stance. The commissioners walked out of a meeting in June with renewed optimism that their differences could be resolved, one of the people said.

Over the past year, the conference’s relatively new commissioners, the Pac-12, Big Ten and Atlantic Coast, have balked at an expanded playoff plan that was unveiled in the summer of 2021.

The 12-team model, which included six conference champions and six at-large teams, was edited for more than two years by a group of four commissioners, including Southeastern Conference’s Greg Sankey.

Concerns about automatic entry to certain conferences, how the Rose Bowl would fit into an expanded format, and the health and safety of players attending up to 17 games have been cited as reasons against the 12-man plan .

The failure to reach an agreement on expansion left Sankey and others frustrated. The expansion of the playoffs before the end of the current television deal has an estimated value of an additional $450 million in media rights to the conferences.

At SEC meetings in late May, Keenum said presidents wanted commissioners to come up with a plan for the next CFP format by June 2023 at the latest.

Keenum also said at the time that the presidents planned to take a more active role in expansion talks and that he wished they could meet again before the end of the summer to “continue the dialogue.”

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/college/ap-sources-presidents-meeting-to-discuss-cfp-expansion/281-931926b7-346a-4f81-b596-1067ff32cb91 AP sources: Presidents meeting to discuss CFP expansion

Emma Bowman

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