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CFP board meets with ‘momentum’ for playoff expansion

The College Football Playoffs’ governing board held a virtual meeting on Friday at which 11 presidents and prime ministers, who make up the sport’s most powerful group, voted on the format and, if unanimously agreed, the playoffs as early as 2024. could accelerate its expansion, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

“There’s momentum,” a source familiar with the conversation told ESPN.

Sources said it was 50/50 whether there would be any vote. Sports Illustrated first reported the conference.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock neither confirmed nor denied the report. His CFP’s governing board, made up of 10 of his FBS commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic his director Jack Swarbrick, is scheduled to meet next week to continue discussions on the expansion, but members of the president’s waiting to hear the decision of On Friday.

If there are moves towards expanding the playoffs within the current contract, this meeting will give the commissioners an opportunity to examine the details of the structure set by the president.

The future of the CFP remains an unpredictable whim of a group of university presidents, although sources say there is confidence that some sort of expansion will be passed at the commissioner level.

CFP enters the final four years of a 12-year deal with ESPN that expires after the 2025 season. A unanimous decision by the president and prime minister is required to extend the deal before it expires.

The commissioner is usually tasked with coming up with a model, and if they can unanimously agree, present it to management for approval as the president and prime minister have final authority over the playoffs. .

After 10 months of debate and tense, often distrustful public meetings, the commissioners ended the debate in February by an 8-3 vote. The Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 voted against the first 12 team proposals, including the top six conference champions and the next top six teams.

By choosing to stay with four teams for another four years, 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame lost about $450 million in potential revenue. Since then, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have expressed public support for the expansion.

At the Pac-12 Media Day in July, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN that he believes the format could change before the contract ends.

“We are closer than ever to agreeing on a format,” he said. “We were hesitant to do it quickly rather than slowly because we couldn’t agree on a format.

“I said something about this when we first met. Once we agree on the format, we can push it into the existing contract. Would you like to try it sooner?”

There is a sense that the process is moving very quickly, but there are also concerns that the process could be rushed as many unanswered questions remain, sources indicate. whether the conference champions should automatically qualify for a spot if the president votes on the format, how the proceeds will be distributed, what the bowl system will look like, especially the Rose Bowl. There are still discussions among the commissioners.

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresko said his conference is open to 12 or 16 teams and that giving automatic bids to all 10 FBS conference champions “would be ideal.” rice field.

“It’s going to be energizing and really help college football get healthier,” said Aresko. I think it should, and if it includes 10 automatics and 6 at large, that’s great for college football.

Further conference reorganizations will also continue to be a factor, as sources indicate that expansion of the Big Ten beyond the pending additions of USC and UCLA is possible.

The two presidents also met virtually earlier this month and briefly discussed the possibility of restructuring the way college football is managed, including one idea to bring the FBS under the control of the CFP.

“It’s been very active, and I think the discussion continues to move forward, as with the CFP,” said one source.

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