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5 things that must happen for the College Football Playoff to expand

College Football Playoff expansion is technically off the table until after the 2025 season, but that may not be set in stone if the powers that be come to an agreement.

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff believes that five things need to happen in order for the playoff system to finally expand past four teams.

College Football Playoff expansion: What needs to be done?

“No. 1 is we’ve committed to each other to collectively agree on the 365-day calendar for college football and its rules," Kliavkoff said, via The Athletic. 

"That is a process that started the last time the CFP met and there’s been work done by all of the conferences in the interim. That is a conversation that we’re going to pick up, and I hope make tremendous progress on, next week in Park City [at the next commissioners' meetings].

“Once you figure that out, I think No. 2 is you’ve got to do the work related to what the format looks like, and particularly what the (automatic qualifiers) look like. 

"My impression is that people are really, really okay with the format that was proposed, and now we’re really talking about what the A.Q's look like. 

"No. 3 is revenue split. No. 4 is protecting the three contract bowls (Rose, Sugar, and Orange). And No. 5 is announcing it."

Where did expansion go wrong last time?

“What we did wrong last year is we put No. 5 first before we took care of the open issues," Kliavkoff said. 

"We have a process to go through. I think we can be done with the first one by the beginning or middle of the football season.”

The official trophy of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The official College Football Playoff national championship trophy

College Football Playoff expansion: What happened?

As recently as last football season, expansion seemed like a done deal, with a consensus among decision makers that 12 teams was the future.

But then Texas and Oklahoma announced they would join the SEC, throwing the balance of power out of whack, and a February vote to expand failed.

The vote — which requires unanimous approval — was put down by an 8-3 margin, with the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC voting against the expansion proposal.

Why the change of heart? There are several reported reasons, including

  • inability to accommodate the Pac-12 relationship with the Rose Bowl, which wants to maintain its traditional Jan. 1 date and media rights,
  • protracted disagreements over distribution of future revenue
  • disputes over whether Power 5 conference champions should get automatic bids to an expanded playoff — the Big Ten is in favor, while the others are not

More from College Football HQ

The Process: How the College Football Playoff picks the 4 teams

Expansion: How each CFB Playoff would have looked with 12 teams

College Football Playoff: Best winning percentages by team so far

Positive update on College Football Playoff expansion

(h/t The Athletic)


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