ROSEMONT, Ill. — After a lengthy, in-person meeting on Tuesday, the College Football Playoff’s management committee still needs more time to determine if the playoff can expand to 12 teams as soon as 2024, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said.
“We won’t wrap up this week,” Hancock told a small group of reporters following a meeting that lasted almost seven hours at the Big Ten’s headquarters. “It’s never been done before, obviously. And so anytime you have new ground to break, it takes a lot of conversations to make sure you’re not missing any details.”
The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick will meet again for two hours on Wednesday morning, but expect to know more by an Oct. 20 meeting in Dallas. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said the group will have some videoconferences between now and then.
Hancock said the commissioners continued to discuss the possibility of moving the entire season to Week 0 to accommodate an expanded field, but there are still questions about the feasibility of implementing such a sweeping change so quickly. An earlier start would move the conference championship games to Thanksgiving weekend.
“I think most people view that as a future item, a long-term item,” he said. “I don’t want to foreclose anything, but that’s my answer.”
Tuesday was the management committee’s second in-person meeting this month after the 11 presidents and chancellors who comprise the CFP’s board of governors voted unanimously on Sept. 2 to expand the playoff to 12 teams in 2026, if not sooner.
Hancock said the commissioners are continuing to discuss revenue shares and ticketing allocations for first-round games, and they need to see if the hotels and convention centers in the host cities can accommodate an expanded field earlier. The CFP already announced Atlanta will host the national championship game in January 2025, followed by Miami in 2026.
Hancock said conversations with Atlanta have been “healthy,” but they “have some work to do because of other business in the community.”
“It’s harder,” Hancock said of 2024. “It will be more difficult because it happens first.”
They also have to determine how the New Year’s Six bowls will handle the rotation, as the four quarterfinal games and two semifinal games would be played in bowls. They would have to come to terms on a TV contract for the first-round games. (ESPN would retain control, through existing bowl and playoff deals, of the quarterfinals, semis and title game until the current contract expires following the 2025 season.)