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College football playoffs expand to 12 teams

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A committee meeting on a potential expansion of the college football playoffs was a milestone on Friday. The 11-member board overseeing the event has unanimously agreed to expand the long-debated playoff quota from four to 12. From the 2026 season.

The board, made up of 10 major meetings and 11 college presidents or presidents from the University of Notre Dame, voted in a virtual meeting held on Friday. It advocated a four-round playoff model featuring the six highest-ranked conference champions by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, and then his six highest-ranked large-scale players other than those conference champions. recruited the team.

This method removes the yearly selection process for some of the most painful omissions, such as the Power Five Oddsman Out conference winners who missed the four-team playoffs, and the so-called Group of Five schools beneath the Power Five. . , their best team struggling for a playoff spot with an undefeated record often hampered by a weak schedule.

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“What a great day,” Mike Aresco, commissioner of one of these Groups of Five Leagues, the American Athletic Conference, wrote in a text message. Once you earn it, you will be able to access it. ”

Under the four-team concept over eight seasons, the ACC missed once (2021), the Big Ten twice, the Big 12 four, and the Pac-12 missed six of eight. Reached all eight playoffs, including one.

The new format is set to begin in 2026 when the current 12-year contract expires, but another committee, the College Football Administration Board, could consider extending the 2024 or 2025 season. The committee is made up of 10 conference commissioners and Jack Swarbrick, Athletic Director of the University of Notre Dame.

Under the model announced by management, the top four conference champions receive first-round byes. That brings him to eight first-round games at the campus site in December, with the top seed in each game serving as the host. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played at the famous bowl game venues, and the finals will be played at selected neutral locations, much like the four-team format is currently played.

“Today is a historic and exciting day for college football,” Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum said in a statement.

Fifteen months after a four-member committee recommended a 12-team playoff similar to the method approved on Friday, eight months after three conference commissioners expressed concerns about the expansion at the time. It came seven months after an 8-3 vote was taken. Concept stagnation. Even in his January, amidst the deadlock and frustration over the deadlock, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kurifkov and his ACC Jim Phillips publicly thought an agreement would be reached. Kliavkoff emphasized that decision makers have time.Phillips said, “In the thirteenth year [2026], will surely reach an agreement. ”

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They joined Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren in opposing the go-ahead, and their reasons varied. And then I realized that timing was hectic. Pac-12 was concerned about maintaining the Rose Bowl’s excellence within all frameworks. The Big Ten wanted a way to automatically qualify all conference champions. A four-team team that has never featured a team with multiple losses, even if he has had so many losses that he would normally be disqualified in the playoffs.

The idea of ​​expanding the playoffs was that about 15 minutes, or perhaps 14 minutes after the current system started in 2014, the long irregular system of determining champions would eventually expand from one championship game to a four-team bracket. Since the transition, it has created chatter. In June 2021, the expansion kickstarted when a four-member working group advocated a 12-team scheme consisting of six he conference champions and he six large teams. One of his four men, who spent two years studying on and off possibilities, was Bob Bowlesby, then Commissioner of the Big 12. Greg Sankey, then and now Commissioner of the SEC. Craig Thompson, then and still the Commissioner of Mountain West. And Swarbrick of Notre Dame. None of his three conferences, which will falter at the next winter conference, include publicly presenting the idea and possibly ranking several others.

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Long ago, the Pac-12 said it favored all six models weighed in last winter. By Friday, it declared that it was “strongly in favor of CFP expansion” for the provision of “increased access and excitement” and “worked with peer conferences to finalize key elements of the expanded CFP and We look forward to getting started as soon as possible.”

The ACC said it “was clear from the start that it favored the expansion” and that it “welcomed” the board’s decision, adding that “the cooperation over the past six months has been very positive as it addresses important details of Premier. It will help us,” he said. college football event. ”

The Big Ten, the ACC, and Pac-12 announced a Common Interest Alliance in August 2021, but by June 2022, the Big Ten will poach Southern California and UCLA from Pac-12 and 16 brought its membership to the school of This is because reorganization is still being considered as to which team will represent the conference.

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