Talks about extending the College Football Qualifiers are moving forward

DALLAS – The latest meeting on the extension of the College Rugby Round ended without resolution on Wednesday when those involved agreed to continue talking.

CFP CEO Bill Hancock said there was still high consensus among the management committee, which includes 10 major college football conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, to widen the playoff playing field to four team.

But how and when? The proposed 12-team model remains the focus of discussions and there is still hope it can be rolled out for the 2024 season. Which conference will guarantee field access is still up for debate. .

“I think there is an opportunity for us to get to the end of today,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We didn’t and there are good and valid reasons why we didn’t. There are people in the room who have different positions and therefore they have different perspectives. And they are healthy discussions. I think we’ve made good progress, but we’re not done. ”


The next scheduled meeting is in January around the College Football Playoff championship game in Indianapolis, but it’s possible the commissioners could meet sooner.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said there are still some who just want to expand to eight teams. Others are adamant eight will not work.

“I was part of the team that made the proposal of six conference champions and the remaining six best teams – or you could stay in four,” said Southeast Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, one of four. of the subcommittee has worked for two years said the 12-team model was launched almost six months ago.

Where will things stand with that initial proposal?

“Well, it’s definitely not approved,” Sankey said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have this conversation today.”


The seven-hour meeting at a hotel at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was the management committee’s sixth face-to-face meeting since the subcommittee’s proposal was announced in June.

In the morning, a room was prepared for the possibility that a press conference could be held to announce that the trustees had reached consensus on an expanded model. A podium was placed in front of a backdrop with the College Football League logo, facing about half a dozen chairs for the reporters in attendance.

By early afternoon, that setup was broken.

Instead of making big news, a short statement by Hancock was released at the end of the meeting. Thompson, Bowlsby, and Sankey then spoke informally to reporters outside the conference room on their way to the elevator.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff did not speak to reporters.


Those commissioners, all of whom are new to the playoff talks, were skeptical of the process from the outset and were even more explicit about the pace of its move for the 12 teams after It is revealed that the SEC will add Oklahoma and Texas to the league over the next few years.

They pushed to reconsider the scalability of only eight teams, though a lot of obstacles to reach agreement on that.

Since then, the road to expansion has become bumpy.

Bowlsby, who is also a member of the expanded subcommittee with Sankey, Thompson and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick, said: “I wish we were finished in September.

At the final meeting in November, the possibility will be to adjust the 12-team proposal to ensure the Power Five conference champions are automatically qualified, while only the highest ranked champion from Only five other conferences are guaranteed a seat.


That was met with Strong objection from American Athletics Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco.

In the original proposal of 12 teams, the top six league champions would have no distinction between tournaments.

Hancock tried to set a deadline for the process as early as October, saying a consensus from the commissioners was needed over the next three or four months.

“We were instructed to develop a format and, if possible, roll it out early,” says Sankey. “So is there any possibility of early deployment? I think so.”

The president’s oversight committee must approve any recommendations the governing board makes. College principals and principals typically attend the CFP meeting around the championship game, which takes place on January 10.


If the commissions cannot agree on a new model soon, Hancock said the CFP will continue to do so with the four teams until the end of the current 12-year television rights deal, which expires after the 2025 season. . And now?

“I wouldn’t say there are any tough deadlines at this point,” Bowlsby said.

“It’s been a tough day and I think we’re all tired and we leave it feeling that we’ve made enough progress to keep moving forward and the knockouts expansion. , we strongly agree that we believe it has to be bigger,” said Bowlsby. “And there are details to work out.”


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Huynh Nguyen

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