College Football Playoff Officials Discuss Further Expansion From 2026 Onward | Top Vip News


GRAPEVINE, Texas – College football commissioners on Wednesday discussed the possibility of increasing the College Football Playoff field to 14 or 16 teams when the next CFP contract takes effect in 2026. They also addressed the possibility of adding more playoff spots. automatic classification, while recognizing They have about a month to do it.

Detailed conversations about changes were anticipated within the group as the CFP faces pressure and a lack of time to finalize its new television deal with ESPN. The CFP management committee is made up of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director. Members expected the Big Ten and the SEC to put specific ideas on the table Wednesday, and it appears they did.

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“It was the most productive meeting I’ve been in since I started as commissioner and I was fortunate to be in these meetings,” Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti said. “We talked about some formats and 14 came up. There was a good discussion about that. After that, there are no more details other than we have more work to do. “I feel good about the way everyone came together.”

The 12-team model for 2024 and 2025 is set. The Board of Directors, made up of university presidents, approved on Tuesday moving from the 6+6 model to the 5+7 model in light of the collapse of the Pac-12. Five conference champions will receive automatic bids for the next two years and four will earn a first-round bye. Seven teams will occupy at-large spots.

Now the conversation has shifted entirely to 2026 onwards, where there is no contract in place and decisions do not need unanimity. The management committee met for more than eight hours at DFW Airport on Wednesday, including two hours with just the Power 5 conferences and incoming Notre Dame athletic director Pete Bevacqua.

“Today was another example of how, through the course of continued conversations, the possibility of moving to other numbers, 14, etc., was discussed, yes,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said.

A 14-team model would presumably have two first-round byes instead of four, and a 16-team model would have no byes. Both would provide more spots for the now-Power 4 conferences, which have increased in size, and more specifically for the Big Ten and SEC, which have far more CFP appearances between them with their new memberships than other conferences.

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While commissioners acknowledged the size of potential additional expansion, they did not go into detail about the possibility of adding more automatic qualifying spots, potentially for the Big Ten and the SEC. It was something other conferences hoped both would push, and it was at least a theme Wednesday.

“I’m not comfortable giving details because this is all just coming up,” CFP CEO Bill Hancock said of the automatic bids. “You need to talk about it on campuses and in conference rooms before you get into details about things like that.”

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark described the talk about the automatic bid as exploratory: “We’re just looking at the numbers,” he said. “It was mentioned. We will have to go through the process.”

“That’s all too premature,” Phillips said. “At the end of the day, what is the right model for (2026) and beyond? “We continue to listen to each other and try to pretty much create something that is good for college football, good for the conferences and Notre Dame and also for the long-term health and well-being of college football.”

After months of refusing to give a deadline, Hancock said the CFP needs to get potential format changes and the subsequent TV deal finalized within the next month, meaning there will be a small window to address these potentially major format changes. It is also a window in which commissioners will have conference basketball tournaments in their plans. Revenue sharing and voting powers from 2026 also remain priority issues.

The Athletic reported last week that ESPN and media representatives for the College Football Playoff agreed to terms for a new television deal and extension, worth $7.8 billion over six years from 2026 to 2032, plus ESPN has the rights to the 12-team model for the next two years. That deal has not yet been voted on and ESPN has been frustrated by how long it has dragged on. CFP officials declined to comment on whether an expanded field would increase the value of that deal.

The idea of ​​more first-round games has not been negotiated under the terms currently agreed upon with ESPN, according to executives with knowledge of the discussions. While ESPN would be open to talking about them, the agreed-upon annual average of $1.3 billion is the budget ESPN had set, so there’s no guarantee that more games will mean significantly more money or more.

“We need to get this over with within a month,” Hancock said. “I don’t know if anyone wants to put artificial deadlines on something, but we have to get this over with. “I think today left everyone with the encouraging feeling that we will be done.”

It took almost four years for the expansion of the CFP to go from the creation of a subcommittee to a fully established reality. Now commissioners (several of whom were not present when the 12-team model was proposed in the summer of 2021) are discussing changing it again before it begins. And they don’t have much time to do it.

“We discussed everything without drawing conclusions yet,” said outgoing American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco. “We’re trying to make some progress.”

(Photo: Kirby Lee / USA Today)

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