CFP to remain at 4 teams through 2025

ichawk24

HR Heisman
Nov 21, 2005
9,342
9,633
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College Football Playoff to remain at 4 teams until 12-year contract expires after 2025 season​


Heather Dinich

After months of lengthy debates and multiple meetings about expansion, the College Football Playoff will remain at four teams through the end of its current 12-year contract, which expires following the 2025 season, CFP executive director Bill Hancock announced Friday.

By choosing to remain at four teams for four more years, the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame have forfeited roughly $450 million in potential revenue.

"I've always said the money was secondary and this proves it," American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said. "Obviously we're forgoing that. We all know it. It's something you would have liked to have had because you can use a lot of that for student-athlete health and well-being and the other things, but the feeling was that the most important thing was getting a format that everybody could agree on."

On Wednesday afternoon, the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick held a critical videoconference in which they determined they could not come to a unanimous agreement on the proposed 12-team format that was made public on June 10. They made a recommendation to the CFP's board of managers, which is comprised of 11 presidents and chancellors who have the ultimate authority over the playoff, to stay with the current four-team field through the duration of the current contract.

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The CFP's board of managers held a videoconference on Thursday and approved the recommendation.

"I understand, this is complex, and I recognize the conferences' positions," Hancock told ESPN in a brief phone interview from China, where he is a volunteer for the Olympics. "I've been around long enough to know that setbacks are sometimes temporary."

Hancock said he still believes an expanded field is possible in the next contract.

"I know because I've heard the management committee and the board talk about it that they would all like to see the CFP expand, but for Years 11 and 12 there were just several things that stood in the way," he said. "Not just one thing, but several."

In order for the playoff to expand before the current contract expires, the 10 FBS commissioners and Swarbrick would have had to unanimously agree to the expansion. ACC commissioner Jim Phillips stated publicly in mid-January that his conference was united in its stance that "this is not the right time for expansion." He said the sport first needs to consider the impacts of name, image and likeness rules, the transfer portal and an NCAA governance structure that is undergoing a major overhaul.

"We have significant concerns surrounding a proposed expansion model, though we'd be supportive of future expansion once and if these concerns are addressed," Phillips said at the time. "The membership believes that we have a responsibility in looking at the CFP and college football from a holistic perspective and not just whether to add more teams to a playoff. Collectively, we have much larger issues facing us than whether to expand the CFP early by two years."

Other major obstacles to expansion included: an inability to appease the Pac-12's relationship with the Rose Bowl, which wants to cling to its traditional day and time along with its media rights; disagreements about revenue distribution; and whether the Power 5 conference champions should receive automatic bids to an expanded playoff -- a component staunchly supported by the Big Ten, but not a majority in the room.

Aresco issued a rebuttal to the ACC and Big Ten earlier this week in an "open letter to college football."


The College Football Playoff will remain at four teams for four more years, through the end of its current 12-year contract, which expires following the 2025 season Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
In response to the ACC's big-picture concerns about the state of college athletics, Aresco wrote, "An expanded playoff is about enhancing opportunity regardless of what the future college sports landscape will look like." He also pointed out that "these overarching issues will likely be debated long into the future" and are "unlikely to be settled in any meaningful way in the next 15 months or so when the CFP decision-makers will have to reconvene either to develop a new playoff plan for 2026 and beyond, continue with the four-team model or abandon a playoff altogether if an acceptable model cannot be agreed upon."

Aresco also responded to the Big Ten's push for automatic qualifiers, saying it favors "privilege for privilege's sake." The original 12-team proposal, which was created by Swarbrick, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, included the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest-ranked teams.

"There are 1,000 football players roughly from eight teams that could have been part of a national championship, and I think they all would hunger for that opportunity, yet they won't be," Sankey told ESPN. "We were willing to adapt to modern expectations to create opportunities. Others weren't willing to adapt to create those opportunities. So we'll have to rethink our views as at some point this process reengages."

When asked what the biggest obstacle to expansion was, Sankey said, "Somebody else has to communicate their opinion that. It certainly wasn't the Southeastern Conference.

"We were ready to participate in meaningful expansion. I think others are going to have to give their reasons."

Swarbrick said he remains convinced the playoff will eventually expand.

"Absolutely," he said. "It will. In our discussions, everybody in the room reiterated their interest in expansion. No one ever said 'no expansion.' It will expand. I think we're probably 30 days, 45 days past when the real deadline was. If you're going to go early, there's stuff you had to do. We just couldn't get there in time."

"I think people in the long term operated against their broader self-interest," he said. "That's always an odd circumstance and it is frustrating. The things that got in the way were things that were important to people. Sometimes it's hard to figure out the balance between those issues and the larger benefits. Everybody has their own view."

Friday's decision to stay at four teams ends public speculation about the future of the sport's postseason for now, but the commissioners and Swarbrick still need to determine what it will look like beginning with the 2026-27 season. An in-person meeting to discuss expansion that had been scheduled for March 2 in Dallas, with both the commissioners and the presidents, has been cancelled.

"Our negotiating window with ESPN begins in October of 2024, so obviously we'll work back from that because we know it will take some time to create a format we will want to pitch to television," Hancock said. "We don't know how long. We don't have a date set. There's more than enough time to get this right for the '26-27 season."

The CFP also has yet to officially announce the host cities for the final two seasons of the current contract, though ESPN has previously reported the playoff is considering Las Vegas and Miami.

"We will get to that as soon as we can," Hancock said.

The 2023 national title game will be held Jan. 9 in Los Angeles, followed by Houston on Jan. 8, 2024.
 
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FWIW4922463

HR All-State
Apr 1, 2021
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Has the playoff not determined, without question, the CFB national champion to this point? I believe it has. Why expand it?
Why have the playoffs at all then? If everybody already knows who the best team is, why waste the time playing meaningless "playoff" games? And BTW: Maybe you should contact the honchos who run the FCS football playoffs and tell them of your discovery. Everybody knows North Dakota State is the best team in the FCS every year, year after year after year. The Bison have won NINE of the last eleven national titles, so why, I wonder, does the FCS continue the charade of having a 24-team playoff? Just five ND State the trophy and be done with it.

And then you have those bozos who run a 68-team NCAA basketball tournament. Everybody knows there are maybe six or eight teams who legitimately could win the national title, so what's with this "March Madness" insanity? SIXTY-EIGHT TEAMS?! That's madness, all right, at least by your standards.

So we're left with FOUR more years of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Whoever. It's been great fun so far. I'm sure it'll be even more so for FOUR more years . . . a "national" championship playoff featuring two teams from the SEC from a vast pool of four out of 130 FBS teams.

Personally, I would much prefer the old bowl system to this FBS stupidity.
 

Kinnick.At.Night

HR Legend
Jun 27, 2018
10,088
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Why have the playoffs at all then? If everybody already knows who the best team is, why waste the time playing meaningless "playoff" games? And BTW: Maybe you should contact the honchos who run the FCS football playoffs and tell them of your discovery. Everybody knows North Dakota State is the best team in the FCS every year, year after year after year. The Bison have won NINE of the last eleven national titles, so why, I wonder, does the FCS continue the charade of having a 24-team playoff? Just five ND State the trophy and be done with it.

And then you have those bozos who run a 68-team NCAA basketball tournament. Everybody knows there are maybe six or eight teams who legitimately could win the national title, so what's with this "March Madness" insanity? SIXTY-EIGHT TEAMS?! That's madness, all right, at least by your standards.

So we're left with FOUR more years of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Whoever. It's been great fun so far. I'm sure it'll be even more so for FOUR more years . . . a "national" championship playoff featuring two teams from the SEC from a vast pool of four out of 130 FBS teams.

Personally, I would much prefer the old bowl system to this FBS stupidity.

The playoff was created to find the true national champion. It does that. It's not about your enjoyment. Your rant is stupid. Thanks for playing.
 

MeetTheFerentz

HR Heisman
Nov 20, 2006
9,007
15,393
113
So we're left with FOUR more years of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Whoever. It's been great fun so far. I'm sure it'll be even more so for FOUR more years . . . a "national" championship playoff featuring two teams from the SEC from a vast pool of four out of 130 FBS teams.
I've been saying this about expansion for years - I am going to be laughing my FAO the first time the national championship game is something like #5 'Bama vs. #7 LSU. Boards like this are going to lose their frickin' minds.
 
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Ripcord280

HR All-State
Aug 30, 2016
653
606
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Has the playoff not determined, without question, the CFB national champion to this point? I believe it has. Why expand it?
strongly concur.

college football, like so many other institutions in life, has been vitiated, prostituted, and bastardized for the pecuniary self-aggrandizement of the plutocracy.
 
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Big Hawk D-Port

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2004
6,562
7,618
113
strongly concur.

college football, like so many other institutions in life, has been vitiated, prostituted, and bastardized for the pecuniary self-aggrandizement of the plutocracy.
College Football seems bent of self destruction. This is a momentary pause.

Make no mistake this is good for the B1G and a setback for ESPN, who is driving all of this insanity. Unfortunately I think they ultimately win because too many in B1G country listen to and then parrot the ESPN line.
 

ichawk24

HR Heisman
Nov 21, 2005
9,342
9,633
113
college football, like so many other institutions in life, has been vitiated, prostituted, and bastardized for the pecuniary self-aggrandizement of the plutocracy.

People have been saying the same things since 1900.

It is like the baseball writers in 1890s saying money is ruining the game.
 

isuisshit

HR MVP
Sep 19, 2021
1,255
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100% of those years will include Alabama or Clemson
80% of those years will include both Alabama and Clemson
65% of those years will include 2 $EC teams
my predictions are on the conservative side
 

LaQuintaHawkeye

HR All-American
Dec 16, 2017
4,738
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I think 12 is the right amount ...especially when dealing with 2 mega conferences with 24 teams a piece.

Each conference with 4 six-team pods/divisions.

Each pod/div champion gets a playoff invite with the conference champs getting a triple buy until the final four.

You then have room for 4 at-large bids, but ONLY if Notre Dame is forced into a conference ...that would have to be part of the deal. The 4 at-large bids could come from within the mega conferences and/or from outside. Ranking would be the decider.

The first six games are hosted by the higher ranked team...

Round 1 would be two games between the at-large invites.

Round 2 is four games where the at-large game winners moving on and joining the 3 thru 8 seeds.

Round 3 would be the winners of those four games in 2 big bowl games. The winners of those games move on to play the conference champs in big bowl games (final four).

Then the championship in a rotating big bowl game.

Obviously this is huge move that would extend the season out by several weeks, but the $$$ is just to great to not make it happen. 🤑
 

MeetTheFerentz

HR Heisman
Nov 20, 2006
9,007
15,393
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I have a very, very hard time believing that the CFP will still be only 4 teams for the 2025 season. Maybe it would still be at 4 if there is no further expansion of the Big 2, but If the SEC and B1G are both >16 teams by then, I'm sure this will be re-evaluated.
 

nbanflfactory

HR Heisman
Aug 22, 2021
6,497
6,291
113
I have a very, very hard time believing that the CFP will still be only 4 teams for the 2025 season. Maybe it would still be at 4 if there is no further expansion of the Big 2, but If the SEC and B1G are both >16 teams by then, I'm sure this will be re-evaluated.
If one of the p5 conf implodes, I see no reason to have more than 4. Well, except the almighty dollar :)