College football leaders: No playoff expansion (yet)
College Football Playoff power brokers finished a round of meetings Monday to discuss the possible expansion of the event’s format. And just like the last couple of times, no consensus was reached in Indianapolis.
“Have you ever seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day?'” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby asked rhetorically following the negotiations.
Officials have fallen into a deadlock over particulars of expansion following reports surfacing last summer indicating substantial movement toward a 12-team playoff model from the current four-team one.
The brakes were pumped on that model shortly thereafter. Since that point, debate has circled the size of the proposed expansion and many of its other particulars.
A new model would require unanimous consent among officials of the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences along with a representative from Notre Dame.
The current sticking points remain automatic qualifiers — whether a team can earn its way in by reaching benchmarks such as conference titles — how the bowls will end up being involved, payout particulars and athlete welfare.
Last June’s proposal included the country’s six highest ranked conference champions as well as the country’s six next-highest ranked teams.
Reports from multiple outlets suggest an expansion could be worth over $450 million in additional revenue for the sport.
The current format, with ESPN holding the media rights, is part of a 12-year deal that runs through the 2025-26 season.
The door hasn’t been completely shut on expansion, however. Conference commissioners are planning to revisit the proposal in the coming weeks.
In September, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said, “We have time, because if the event is going to change before the end of the term, the end of the 12 years, we have three or four months. If it’s going to change in Year 13, then we have a couple of years.
“They understand how important this is. It’s important for all of them. It’s important for the people on their campuses.”
–Field Level Media