Uni Presidents To Discuss CFP Expansion On Friday, Sources Say
September 1, 2022
It has been reported that the College Football Playoff board of managers will meet to discuss the College Football Playoff expansion this Friday. The meeting will mainly discuss the development of the four-team format by reopening the possibility of a new crowning model, to be implemented as soon as the 2024 season begins.
The news was first reported by The Associated Press on Wednesday. The sources that told AP said the board would hold a virtual meeting, with Mississippi State president Mark Keenum hosting.
It remains uncertain whether the presidents will start taking any official action or vote to approve an expansion model, but another source reported that they wanted to speed up the process that had stagnated six months ago.
In August, ESPN reported that the presidents and chancellors agreed that the college sports leaders had left too much money on the table by not implementing a new playoff before 2026.
Meanwhile, the CFP management committee, consisting of ten FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director, is scheduled to meet in Dallas next week. They are in charge of developing a CFP format, but still, the presidents are the ones who have the right to decide what happens with the playoff. That is why in the past spring, the CFP management committee failed to make a progress on the expansion process because conference commissioners could not agree on a format.
The CFP is entering the final four years of a 12-year contract with ESPN that will expire in the 2025 season. Therefore both the presidents and chancellors need to expand before the contract ends.
To decide on a new crowning model, the commissioners will usually figure out the model first, and it must be agreed upon unanimously by the commissioners. After that, they need to present it to the board of managers for approval.
In February, after ten months of debates, the commissioners ended the discussion with an 8-3 vote. They will stick to the remaining four teams for four more years.
Commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN that it would be impossible to change the format before the contract ends.
"We're closer than we ever have been to agreeing to a format," he said. "The lack of agreement about a format held us back from doing it quickly instead of slowly."
Meanwhile, last year new commissioners from the Pac-12, Big Ten, and Atlantic Coast Conference pushed back on an expanded playoff plan that was unveiled in the summer of 2021.
A group of four commissioners, including Greg Sankey of the Southeastern Conference, worked on the 12-team model, which included six conference champions and six available teams, for over two years. Sankey said they were frustrated by the failure to agree on the expansion.
In a series of SEC meetings last May, Keenum said the presiding officers wanted commissioners to provide a blueprint for the following CFP format no later than June 2023. Keenum added that the presidents intended to play a more active role in the expansion talks and hoped to see them again before the end of the summer to "continue the dialogue."