Hopes raised for the College Football Playoff expansion agreement as interest in the 16-team model grows

INDIANAPOLIS — Just as it regarded like the College Football Playoff expansion was heading in direction of finality, convention realignment began by Texas and Oklahoma leaping to the SEC put the total course of on maintain. Last month’s assembly of the FBS commissioners in Park City, Utah, went so effectively that those that spent the final 12 months battling over CFP expansion appear to be edging nearer to selecting a format.

“We did not clear up something, however we had a very good assembly,” certainly one of the members at the gathering instructed CBS Sports. “I got here out of that assembly fairly optimistic. Then, 5 days later, growth. I do not know what sort of impact we had on it. We had the greatest assembly we had in over a 12 months.”

That “growth” second got here June 30 when phrase leaked that USC and UCLA had been becoming a member of the Big Ten. But even since then, commissioners have been optimistic about CFP expansion to the level that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren just lately expressed interest in a 16-team model.

“I wish to have a look at 16,” Warren instructed CBS Sports at the Big Ten Media Days. “I wish to have a look at all of them. I wish to have a look at all the things however 4.”

As proposed final 12 months, a 12-team playoff would have included the six highest-ranked convention champions plus six at-large bids. Warren voted in opposition to that model as a result of he wished a assured spot for the Big Ten champion.

(Spoiler alert: The Big Ten champion would have been a digital lock to be amongst these high six convention champions yearly.)

Warren was joined in that “no” vote by Pac-12 commissioner Georgia Kliavkoff and ACC commissioner Jim Phillips. At the time, passage required unanimous consent.

On Tuesday, Warren stated he was “100%” in help of expansion. He then instructed The Athletic that he was “going to melt [his] stance” relating to the high six highest-ranked champions.

That might have one thing to do with the Big Ten and SEC being in the means of separating themselves from the remainder of faculty soccer. It may additionally be the realization that, after the present CFP contract expires following the 2025 season, a unanimous vote will not be crucial to alter the construction.

Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, chair of the CFP Board of Managers, stated earlier this summer time that he hoped the presidents would have expansion resolved by subsequent summer time. An expanded bracket can be in place for the 2026 season.

Last week, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey indicated he would help a bracket together with the greatest groups out there no matter whether or not they’re convention champions. Sankey was a part of a four-person subcommittee that took two years modeling all the things from four- to 16-team playoffs earlier than selecting the proposed 12-team format.

The sudden interest in 16 may greatest be defined by, “Why not?” Still, one high-profile business known as the concept “lunacy” saying Sankey’s unique subcommittee received it proper at 12 groups.

A 12-team bracket is valued at roughly $1.2 billion yearly, business sources instructed CBS Sports.

Support for the 16-team bracket might have hatched whereas commissioners had been in Park City for the annual Collegiate Commissioners Association assembly. Among these eligible to attend the assembly, solely Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick was absent due to a earlier dedication.

“I haven’t got an issue with 16,” stated Barry Alvarez, Big Ten senior advisor for soccer. I believe we want extra entry. College soccer wants extra entry to the playoffs. It was each recreation was vital. Now, you see folks lose interest when somebody loses a recreation early. Well, they’re out of the playoffs.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a kind of expansion architects together with Sankey, defined that as much as 30 groups can be in rivalry up till November if a 12-team bracket wanted to be stuffed out.

Warren and others have already projected {that a} 16-team bracket would require each program to start their common season in the final week of August. Currently, that house is labeled “Week Zero” — openers for a handful of groups earlier than the conventional Labor Day weekend openers.

The 12-game season would then be accomplished in time for the first spherical of playoff video games to start probably throughout the second week of December.

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