College Football Playoff 'Didn't Even Get Close' to Unanimity for Expansion

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban receives the CFP trophy during the trophy presentation at the conclusion of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on January 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. The Alabama Crimson Tide won the game in overtime 26-23. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Anyone hoping for an expansion of the College Football Playoff will have to wait after disagreements among members of the CFP management committee.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that they "didn't even get close" to unanimity, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.

"Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day?" he added, per Brett McMurphy of the Action Network.

All 11 members of the committee—featuring 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director—must approve a format change to the current four-team playoff for a national championship.

Bowlsby helped create a 12-team model along with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. The proposal was introduced in June. 

The bracket would feature the six highest-ranked conference champions as well as six at-large bids. The four highest-ranked conference champs would get first-round byes.

This format would likely guarantee a chance at the playoff for each of the Power Five conferences as well as at least one bid for one of the Group of Five teams.

The Big 12 has been left out of the four-team playoff in each of the last two seasons, while the conference's only representative—Oklahoma—is 0-4 in semifinal games.

Getting support for the adjustments hasn't been easy, with Bowlsby saying in December that the plan to change the playoff by 2024 was "in some jeopardy."

Auerbach reported in November that commissioners in the the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 suggested an alternate format that guaranteed access for Power Five champions. At least two other Power Five commissioners wanted an eight-team model instead of 12.

The lack of agreement will seemingly be enough to keep the status quo of a selection committee choosing four playoff teams.