Commissioners to report on CFP expansion talks to presidents

Indiana

The College Football Playoff National Championship event logo is displayed on the outside of the JW Marriott, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis. Alabama and Georgia are scheduled to play in the championship game on Jan. 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The administrators who manage the College Football Playoff will report on the progress of expansion talks to a presidential oversight committee on Monday.

The CFP management committee wrapped up about seven hours of meetings over two days on Sunday. Executive Director Bill Hancock said only that the group had made progress, but gave no indication on whether a consensus was reached on a new format.

The board of managers, made up of 11 university presidents and chancellors representing each conference and Notre Dame, ultimately must approve any recommendation made by the league commissioners.

“There’ll be a statement after the presidents meet,” Hancock said.

The 10 conference commissioners that make up the management committee, along with Notre Dame’s athletic director, all support expanding the playoff from four teams. The process bogged down throughout the fall and has now lingered into the winter as they wrangle over how and when.

“They’re narrowing in on some details,” Hancock said.

A proposal for a 12-team playoff has been on the table since June. There was hope initially an agreement could be reached soon enough to have it implemented for the 2024 season, two years before the current CFP contract with ESPN expires.

Unanimous consensus among the management committee members is needed to alter to the current deal.

Hancock has said if the commissioners could not come to a consensus on a new format by these meetings, ahead of the Monday’s national title game at Lucas Oil Stadium between No 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, expansion could not happen until after the current 12-year deal is complete.

“I don’t want to characterize anything as out or in, you’re just going to have to stand by,” Hancock said.

The host cities for the championship games for the final two seasons of the current agreement, 2024 and ’25, have yet to be announced.

Hancock said he would like to have those sites locked in soon, but to do so the CFP needs to first have firm dates and that requires a decision on whether the format will remain at four or expand.

“So it could be a while before we’re able to tell you who the cities, before we know who the cities are,” Hancock said.

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