College Football Execs Fail to Reach Agreement on Playoff Expansion, Delay Decision Until January

From CBS Sports:

College Football Playoff management bullish on expansion and home sites, deadlocked on auto bids

The 10 FBS commissioners are unanimous on desire to expand, but as always, the devils in the details

The committee has reached agreement that the playoff should expand, with most in favor of playing games on campus. However, Brett McMurphy reports that the primary issue remains automatic Power Five bids, the same holdup as previous meetings. 

Since June 10 — when a CFP working group revealed a proposed 12-team model — the 10 commissioners that make up the FBS have met six times hoping to come to a consensus on the details. There was optimism that Dec. 1 could finally be decision day. 

The qualms most likely come from The Alliance, the tenuous agreement between the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten. Had the 12-team playoff existed in 2020, the Pac-12 would have missed out on an auto bid in favor of AAC champ Cincinnati and Sun Belt champ Coastal Carolina. That same situation could’ve theoretically happened this year, as No. 19 San Diego State and No. 24 Louisiana are within striking distance.


“There remains a strong consensus that expansion is desirable, whether it begins early, or possibly not until the 2025-2026 season is over.” [CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock]

[Big 12 commissioner Bob] Bowlsby and [SEC Commissioner Greg] Sankey were both part of the working group that revealed the plan in June, and both remain steadfast that the model they announced — 12 teams, six automatic conference champion qualifiers — remains the right one. However, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson noted that an eight-team model has not been eliminated from consideration. 

The next meeting will be in January, as both conference commissioners and other key individuals involved in the process converge around yearly meetings. However, it’s no accident that Hancock’s statement pointed to the 2025-26 season.

After that school year, every part of the CFP expires — bowl contracts, television deals and the entire structure at large. Pushing a new structure until then instead of trying to move early would allow the management group to work from a blank slate.

Of course, it would also mean at least four more four-team playoffs. There’s no telling where the sports could be by then.

No, we don’t want it in 2025. We want it now. NOW, DAMNIT!


Just kidding. But not really.

The disagreement here is over whether the automatic bids should go to the Power Five conference winners and the highest-ranked G5 team, or simply the 6 highest-ranked conference Champions.

I guess “The Alliance” wants a Power Five conference championship to ensure an automatic bid, because the Pac-12 would have missed out on one last year if the system was that simply the 5 highest-ranked conference champs got automatic bids.

The thing is, this seems like a Pac-12 problem. I don’t know why the Big Ten is going along with it. I mean, even if Iowa wins the Big Ten Championship this year over Michigan in an upset, Iowa would get an automatic bid under the preferred model. They’re #13 right now. There’s no way an 11-2 Big Ten Champion Iowa would be ranked lower than 6 other conference Champions. There’s no way they’d get jumped by San Diego State or Louisiana.

Even the ACC, whose championship game this year is between #15 Pitt and #16 Wake Forest, would not see its conference Champion get jumped by San Diego State, especially considering San Diego State isn’t playing a ranked team in its conference title game. They’re playing Utah State.

The Pac 12 is just worried that if Utah, ranked #17, wins the Conference Championship, it could theoretically be jumped by San Diego State if we were under the 12-team playoff scenario.

I don’t even think that would happen this year, though. If Utah wins, it would be a second win over Oregon, who is #10 right now. There’s no way Utah would be ranked lower than 2 G5 conference champions in that event.

Seems to me like the Pac 12 are being little girls right now. Are they really afraid of competing with San Diego State and Cincinnati? Come on.

The Pac 12 needs to man-up and get on board with the playoff proposal. We need to get this thing finalized in January so that we can have it implemented as early as possible. I doubt the 2022 season is a realistic option, but maybe 2023 can happen if they come to an agreement soon here.

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