Thursday , April 18 2024

College Football Playoff committee approves 12-team format

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The College Football Playoff is officially expanded.

After years of debates, the College Football Playoff committee has approved a 12-team format for playoff bids. The system will move to a “5+7” model, with five automatic bids from the highest-ranked conference champions and seven at-large spots for the next-highest-ranked teams.

The model was voted on in favor of a “6+6” after the near-complete dismantling of the Pac-12 conference. “5+7” won a unanimous 11-0 vote after the Pac-12 delivered some pushback. The Pac-12 initially delayed the vote because it introduced a separate proposal to continue revenue distribution to the remaining schools in the Pac-12: Washington State and Oregon State. While they retain their status as a Power Five conference through 2025, there is no guarantee on payment structure past that point.

While the matter remains unsettled, Schultz did not block the expansion proposal. He also stated in an interview with Yahoo Sports that the “5+7” model would be better for the Pac-12 in the long run.

“If you look ahead, clearly more at-large bids are going to be advantageous to the Pac-12 given that we no longer have status as an automatic qualifier,” Schulz said to Yahoo Sports. “In the long run, that’s where we need to be. No doubt in our minds that, if you look at what’s best for our schools, the 5+7 and more at-large spots is clearly going to be better for the Pac-12.”

In addition, the agreement on a playoff structure also resolves the only thing the six-year contract extension with ESPN. The deal valued at around $1.3 billion annually was tentatively agreed to the week prior, according to The Athletic, with one notable caveat. ESPN would reportedly pull out of the deal if the College Football Playoff were unable to agree to terms on an expansion.

Playoff expansion will begin with the 2024 season. The first round of games will be hosted at home sites of the better seed. The following rounds will be slotted into the neutral sites for pre-existing bowl games like the Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl.

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