As the College Football Playoff moves to the next phase of expanding the field from four participants to 12, executive director Bill Hancock says the management committee did not discuss when the 12-team proposal could be implemented, as they finished up a two-day discussion Friday in Chicago.
The current contract of the CFP runs through the 2026 season, but there has been talk the new format could begin in the 2023-’24 academic year. Hancock has already come out previously and said the four-team playoff will continue for at least the next two years.
“The implementation part is obviously a very important part of this,” he said during Friday’s press conference, which The Clemson Insider was a part of. “The working group intentionally did not get into it. They wanted to put a proposal in front of the management committee that the committee could consider without having the shackles of trying to figure out when to implement it.”
The proposal calls for the bracket each year to include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the six highest-ranked other teams as determined by the College Football Playoff selection committee. No conference would qualify automatically and there would be no limit on the number of participants from a conference.
Under the proposal, the four highest-ranked conference champions would be seeded one through four and each would receive a first-round bye, while teams seeded five through 12 would play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team. The quarterfinals, playoff semifinals and national championship game would be played at neutral sites.
“The group this week did not get into implementation and time in a significant way. That will come later,” Hancock said. “The first step is determining whether this new format is even feasible or something the people on campus want to do. So that important implementation matter is still to be discussed.”
At Tuesday’s board of managers meeting in Dallas, the management committee will ask the board to authorize the solicitation of feedback over the next few weeks and months with groups that are expected to include student-athletes, university presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, and coaches to inform them about the details of the 12-team proposal, and also to begin feasibility assessments of any new format.
“At the end of the day, the management committee just concluded that we have some important constituents that we have not heard from, and we need to,” Hancock said. “That will be part of the, and I will call it, kicking the tires as the management committee moves forward with the soliciting the opinion of folks.”
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