By Zach Powell | @ZiggidyZach_
Sports Capital Journalism Program
INDIANAPOLIS – Three days of discussions among members of the College Football Playoff management committee concluded on Monday without any consensus on how an expansion of the four-team field could be executed. More than six months after a 12-team field was proposed, ten conference commissioners plus Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick could not agree on a revised size of the field or details of how future competition would be structured.
The absence of any consensus raised questions of whether the committee, and the defining presidential oversight committee, can reach agreement on expansion details before the current deal ends with the 2026 championship.
“We’re going into overtime with this one,” College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock told reporters after the meeting.
The current four-team playoff format, at the end of the eighth season in a 12-year contract, has been under scrutiny by college football fans, teams, players, and their coaches. But the committee noted that all formats are still a possibility. “We’re still working under a four-team, eight-team, and 12-team playoff expansion,” said Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey. “Nothing has been ruled out.” Sankey also used an analogy to describe what the discussion of expansion is like.
“It’s like a nine-overtime contest and none of us can complete a two-point conversion right now,” he said.
With media outlets and college football fans frustrated by the lack of progress being made, there will be even more frustration. One thing mentioned by the committee is the complexity of the decision-making process. The role of existing bowl games, the future of exclusive ESPN broadcast rights and the potential creation of automatic bids will continue to be discussed.
Before the expansion committee released a statement about its meeting, the Pacific-12 released a statement. “The Pac-12 is strongly in favor of CFP expansion,” it read, “and we support all of the six most-discussed expansion models that would allow for expansion to occur in time for the final two years of the current CFP agreement.”
The committee plans to meet again next month, Hancock said. “It’s getting late,” he said, “but we’re not closing any doors.”