CFP expansion for 2024 ‘in some peril’

ARLINGTON, Texas – Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said expanding the College Football League as soon as the 2024 season is “in jeopardy” if no agreement on a new format can be reached soon.

Speaking to reporters Saturday ahead of the Big 12 title match between Oklahoma State and Number 9 Baylor, Bowlsby said expansion talks had slowed to the point where the opportunity to implement a new format before a deal was reached. The current 12-year agreement ends after 2025, the season is ending.

The CFP Management Committee, which includes 10 convention commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, met earlier this week and in Dallas and still could not reach consensus on a proposal to expand the knockout round from four to 12 teams.

“Well, it’s just for pure logistical reasons that year 11 (2024) might be in jeopardy at this point, just because there are good and proper things you have to do to host the games,” Bowlsby said. .


“I think it’s also possible that we won’t be able to do it in year 12 (2025) and we’ll talk about what we do in year 13 and beyond because you know, for all For both intents and purposes, CFP will disappear (after 2025). There is no operating agreement beyond 2025-26 and no contract binding us beyond ’25-26,” he said.

Currently, the consensus of all 11 members of the governing committee is required to proceed with the knockout proposal, which still requires the approval of the university rector and the principal, who oversee the CFP.

The next scheduled meeting of the commissioners and presidents is around the national championship game in Indianapolis on January 10, but the commissioners could reconvene earlier.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said Friday night before his tournament’s title game in Las Vegas that the team was starting to look beyond the current deal and potentially the next iteration. of the playoffs would not need the approval of the so-called Group of Five conferences.


“I don’t think we need 11 people to agree to come to a good solution for college football. If we find that solution, then we can focus on whether we can achieve it for ’24 and ’25,” Kliavkoff said.

“I think you start by saying, ‘What is the group that needs to agree on a model?’ Then we hope to be able to invite the rest of us to join us. So that’s just another paradigm of how you think about who’s going to make the decisions about what the model looks like. “

Bowlsby has echoed the full consensus is that an expansion is needed before the end of the current contract. For after 2025: “No follow-up contract.”

If this expansion attempt in 2024 fails, Bowlsby said the team could start from scratch with a new model – but that doesn’t have to be the case.

“I suspect that a lot of the work the working group has done will be the basis for that, because we have pretty thoroughly tested almost any model you can name. And so it could be the foundation of it – but you never know,” he said.


One of the problems that has become an obstacle to expansion is which conferences are guaranteed automatic access to their champions.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren is the first commissioner to publicly advocate ensuring access for all Power Five conference champions and just the top-ranked champion from five other conferences .

“So I have a lot of confidence in the automated qualifiers for the Big Ten and other Power Five conferences,” Warren told SiriusXM this week.

In the 12-team proposal announced in June and put forward by Bowlsby, Southeast Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre-Dame Church Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West High Commissioner Craig Thompson proposed six conference champions that could have The highest ranked from all 10 FBS tournaments enter the play-offs along with the top six ranked major picks.

Group of Five members conference, most notably Mike Aresco from the United States Athletics Conference, enjoy unlimited auto access to Power Five champions.


Earlier in the week, Sankey said he’s still in favor of the six-champion best model the subgroup proposes. Bowlsby on Saturday laid out one of the reasons the team avoided automatic access only to Power Five.

“We have discovered the extent to which we anoint ourselves in privileges, including automatic access, often to the extent to which we are called before Congress or we are challenged in terms of legal,” Bowlsby said. “There are good reasons why we recommend six-regarded conference champions, and those reasons have not changed. ”


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Huynh Nguyen

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