Latest updates & what happens next.
Will expansion take place before 2025 ?
As the 2021-2022 college football season comes to an end, the national championship game is played, and a champion is crowned, all records and stats will be final and most of the year’s questions will have answers. One matter that is yet to be resolved is the expansion of the College Football Playoff. Talks of postseason expansion and the reworking of the current 12 year contract that expires in 2025, were again tabled Monday morning after no agreements could be reached. A vote took place between an 11 person panel consisting of 10 FBS program commissioners ( 5 Power Five & 5 Group of Five ), and the Notre Dame Athletic Director on the morning of January 10th, but were nowhere close to a consensus. Despite these multiple pushbacks and consecutive failed attempts, representatives from conferences like the Big 12 and PAC-12 are on the record claiming that there is an agreement between all parties involved that talks must move forward and that expansion is something that is necessary.
Then what’s the hold up?
So there is a consensus that expansion is the correct next step. Then why isn't it as easy as simply expanding the playoff to eight or twelve teams ? Hell, I think most of us would take six at this point…anything sounds better than the mere four playoff spots that are allocated in the current format. Especially when you consider the fact that any given year you can almost guarantee one of the four spots will go to Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide. Well, exactly how many teams get into the CFP is exactly the issue. The PAC-12 released a statement on Monday that detailed six different playoff expansion possibilities that have been discussed. The six expansions proposed consisted of three 12 team formats and three 8 team formats.
12 Team formats
The top 12 teams ranked by the CFP committee on Selection Sunday qualify for the playoffs. Conference Championships are not considered.
The 6 highest ranked conference champions, along with 6 “at-large” teams will qualify for the playoffs.
The 5 Power Five conference champions, the highest ranked Group of Five conference champion, and 6 “at-large” teams qualify for the playoffs.
8 Team formats
The top 8 teams ranked by the CFP committee on Selection Sunday qualify for the playoffs. Conference championships are not considered.
The 6 highest ranked conference champions, along with 2 “at-large” teams will qualify for the playoffs.
The 5 Power Five conference champions, the highest ranked Group of Five champion, and 2 “at-large” teams will qualify for the playoff.
The same statement released by the PAC-12 claims that there is no unanimous support for any one format proposed. So maybe the number of options that are laid out in front of these commissioners and presidents is a part of the problem. Other issues that are causing roadblocks are made up of how the expansion impacts bowls outside of the NY6, how a prolonged season would affect student-athlete mental and physical health, and of course revenue distribution. Each of these matters warrant articles in themselves, but the easiest thing to understand is that this is not an easy process.
What happens next ?
The CFP committee has informed the 10 FBS commissioners and the Notre Dame AD that they have two years to come to an unanimous decision on an expanded playoff format in order for that style of playoff to be implemented in the year following the expiration of the current 12 year contract that will come to an end in 2025. The clock is ticking and the pressure from media and fans for an expanded playoff is growing. The panel will reconvene in a few weeks, and all reports indicate that all parties want to get a deal done a lot sooner than the aforementioned deadline. For now the suspense remains and millions of us are forced to patiently wait for 11 people to come to an agreement on the future of college football.