With expansion pending, College Football Playoff sets in

Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks to defensive back Nyland Green (1) after a game during the NCAA college football team's G-Day game on Saturday April 16, 2022 in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks to defensive back Nyland Green (1) after a game during the NCAA college football team’s G-Day game on Saturday April 16, 2022 in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)


As college football attempts to navigate unprecedented upheaval, the status quo is maintained with the College Football Playoffs crowning its national champion.

The playoffs are expected to stick to the current four-team format until the end of his contract. It does not intend to commit players to name, image and likeness rights. And its leaders don’t expect the Rose Bowl to be dislodged from its traditional early afternoon New Year’s Day time slot if the expansion were to occur.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock said he doesn’t believe major changes are coming anytime soon after a proposed 12-team playoff expansion was scrapped in February.

“We knew it was a long time to develop into that 12-year deal because everyone had a veto. But we thought we’d take a look and make an effort. So now we We’re going to focus on a new format from 26-27, whatever it is. But in the meantime, we’ve got another four years of that, which has really been a big event,” Hancock said at an event. marking the countdown to the 2023 National Championship game.

The plan introduced in June 2021 would have featured the six highest-ranked conference champions and six overall teams chosen by a selection committee. But it quickly became clear that it would be difficult to get the unanimous support needed to change the current contract.

There were doubts about whether 12 teams was the right number, whether the Power Five conference champions should be guaranteed court spots and whether it made financial sense to expand without waiting for an appeals process. open in a competitive landscape for broadcast and streaming rights, all against the backdrop of the announcement in July 2021 that Texas and Oklahoma would leave the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference.

Hancock does not believe the decisions of the Longhorns and Sooners played a significant role in sabotaging the proposal.

“I haven’t heard of this in the commissioners’ meetings. We all knew it happened, of course, but I can’t speculate how important that was to the process,” Hancock said. “I’m going to say this, I think, but for the pandemic, we would have an expanded field now. If we could have done that in the summer of 2019, 2020, I think we would have an extension before the end of the contract.

The realignment wasn’t the sport’s only shake-up. Another is the new ability for college players and high school rookies to cash in on their visibility.

Given the increased number of players choosing to sit out bowling games to avoid injury ahead of the NFL Draft, the prospect of organizers paying players to ensure their attendance has been touted as a potential avenue to protect sales. tickets, referrals and ratings.

Hancock said the CFP would not pursue this path.

“There were talks about it at the bowls, but none of that materialized,” he said. “I think the jury is out. The jury knows all about NIL.

As for the granddaddy of them all, his grip on a primary viewing window on January 1 would have been unaltered by the expansion.

“We didn’t really go that far, but the working group proposal was that each bowl would have two quarter-finals and then a semi-final, so you have a three-year cycle. And I thought that one had a lot meaningful,” Hancock said. “But we didn’t go far enough to talk about turkey with bowls or lectures on the actual format.”

The Rose Bowl provided the CFP and its predecessor, the Bowl Championship Series, with several memorable games, including Vince Young’s legendary performance to lead Texas over Southern California in 2006, Jameis Winston’s final touchdown pass for giving Florida State a title in 2014, and Georgia’s thrilling double-overtime victory over Oklahoma in a 2018 CFP Semifinal.

Hancock hopes it will be the same at SoFi Stadium next year.

“Postseason football has started in Los Angeles,” Hancock said. “And here we are, kind of on a loop, so we’re excited to be here.”


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Naomi C. Amerson