Skip to main content

Number of Teams Remains Biggest Obstacle to CFP Expansion Agreement

Another day of College Football Playoff expansion talks came and went without significant progress. Commissioners met in Dallas again Wednesday to little avail.

Per Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the largest obstacle to an agreement between the commissioners on a playoff expansion plan is still the format.

Dellenger previously reported that the decision of how many teams should qualify for the playoff was the largest hang-up among the group.

Bob Bowlsby (Big 12 commissioner), Greg Sankey (SEC commissioner), Craig Thompson (Mountain West commissioner) and Jack Swarbrick (Notre Dame athletic director) proposed the 12-team playoff model in June, which would guarantee spots to the six highest-ranked conference champions as well as at-large bids to the next six highest-ranked teams.

SI Recommends

Six months later, the number of teams is still a sticking point. Before the meeting, one source told Dellenger that the decision to stay at four teams or expand to 12 was a "coin flip."

Following the meeting, there seems to be a divide among the committee on which model is best. Sankey said he was against an eight-team playoff with automatic qualifiers while Bowlsby said, "I think 12 is good for college football." However, Thompson said after the meeting that an eight-team model is still alive.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the Playoff, released a statement Wednesday after the meeting saying that group "continues to make progress, but a variety of issues remain."

"The commissioners will meet again to see if the remaining items can be settled," he said. "The possibility of expansion is complicated and has multiple issues associated with it. Given the importance of the matter and our desire to achieve as much consensus as possible, we will continue our meetings to see if the differences that exist can be narrowed."

More College Football Coverage:

Brian Kelly’s Brusque Exit at Notre Dame Is More of the Same
How Lincoln Riley's Unprecedented Move Shakes the Coaching Carousel
Expanding the College Football Postseason? We've Been Down This Road Before.
The CFP Selection Committee Somehow Made Notre Dame a Sympathetic Figure