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CFP Management Committee Aiming to Implement 12-Team Playoff as Soon as 2024

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 8, 2022

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The College Football Playoff management committee is aiming to begin the agreed-upon 12-team playoff as soon as 2024 after initially voting to expand the postseason starting in 2026, per ESPN's Heather Dinich.

"There's a focus on the timetable," American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said. "Our minds are very concentrated because we know we've got to get this done if it's going to happen. And I think the goal would be to make it happen, but who knows."

The committee—comprised of 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director, Jack Swarbrick—met Thursday for over four hours hoping to iron out the details of expanding the playoff by 2024.

"I even feel better coming out of the meeting that I did going into it, and I was positive going into the meeting, but we have a lot of experienced people and have common goals and it was a very productive meeting," Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. "So I'm very pleased where we are and we have a lot of work to do, though. We have a lot to get done."

There was initially major doubt as to whether moving forward with a 2024 start date for the expanded format would be possible:

Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg

Several sources told me Thursday that 2024 would be very difficult to pull off for expanded CFP. Could see 2025 as a likelier option. If it’s 2026, everything just starts over with a new format. As one source just said, “We will try and make it happen soon.”

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

But, I will say, this source says they would like to see the 12-team CFP implemented "as soon as possible."

But money talks. While the current CFP contract runs through the 2025 season, Dinich reported that "there is an estimated $450 million in gross revenue if the commissioners can implement the new format for the final two seasons."

That's a good deal of motivation to find a 2024 solution.

Since the implementation of the College Football Playoff in the 2014 season, only four teams have participated per year. Expansion has long been one of the requests from fans of the sport, however, with the general belief that an eight-team playoff was the logical next step.

Instead, the sport will move straight to 12 teams in either 2024 or 2026, a major change for college football.

The determination of which 12 teams will be selected per season has already been decided, with the CFP committee continuing to provide the official rankings and the top four seeds going to the four highest-rated conference champions. The field will be comprised of the six major conference winners and the six highest-ranked at-large bids.

All that's left to decide is whether 2024 is a realistic target for expansion.

"We've had four or five really good calls in a row," ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said. "This hasn't been something where we've been off course, so that means we're all trying to figure out how to do this thing. So there's lots of energy in the room. There's lots of optimism, but it's the details. The devil's in the details and the work that has to be done."

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