Georgia fans celebrate during the second half of the Orange Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game against Michigan, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

College Football Playoff expansion delayed

No consensus was reached on the possible expansion of the College Football Playoff format after three days of meetings, concluding on Monday. The CFB management committee was unable to decide on proposed expansion formats. As a result, the possibility of expansion happening before the 12-year contract with ESPN expires continues to diminishr.

Proposed Expansion Format

On Monday, the CFB management committee made a recommendation to the managers, made up of school presidents, on how to move forward with expansion. Unanimity is required to break CFB’s contract with ESPN, which runs through 2025. However, the committee doesn’t have it.

The proposed 12-team playoff format would grant automatic bids to the six highest-ranked conference champions. From there, the other six teams would receive at-large bids. In this model, the top four conference champions would receive byes. Teams ranked 5-8 would host teams ranked 9-12 for the first round in on-campus games. Then, the quarterfinals will be at bowl sites.

While CFB executive director Bill Hancock is not shutting down the idea of an expansion before 2026, a consensus is getting more difficult to reach.

Going Forward with the College Football Playoff

Hancock said the outstanding issues include automatic qualifiers, bowls and timing.

While automatic qualifiers are included in the 12-team proposal, they are not designated to specific conferences. Therefore, there are disagreements among committee members about who would receive them.

Bowl games then become an issue. This is because there is a push for first-round games to be played on college campuses. Questions then arise about how and when bowl games will be used within a 12-team bracket.

Since the 12-team expansion was proposed in June, the commissioners have met multiple times, with no final decision being made. No date for the next meeting between the parties has been set.

With the season, and this year’s college football playoff, coming to an end, only time will tell whether expansion actually occurs.

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