SportsCollege Sports


Could College Football Playoff be headed toward expansion?

Executive director says management committee 'extremely satisfied' with current format, but working group has reviewed as many as 63 possibilities
Alabama Crimson Tide fireworks celebration outside Hard Rock Stadium after beating Ohio State Buckeyes in 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship
Posted at 4:22 PM, Apr 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-24 16:22:18-04

IRVING, Texas — The College Football Playoff is considering several possibilities for potential expansion, although the executive director said Friday that a working group conveyed to the management committee that it continues to support the current four-team format.

Bill Hancock, the CFP's executive director, said a working group within the management committee, which comprises the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, reviewed as many as 63 possibilities for change during its annual spring meeting. Those possibilities included formats of six, eight, 10, 12 and 16 teams, each with a variety of different scenarios.

"Since January 2019, when the presidents charged us with taking a careful look at all aspects of CFP, including the format, this group has diligently evaluated options for the future," Hancock said. "Its efforts were delayed as a result of the pandemic, but it met again this week in Dallas, and we look forward to hearing more when its work is complete. I want to remind everyone that whatever recommendations the management committee may make, all decisions about our future format -- whether to remain at four teams or change to a different format -- will be made by the 11 presidents and chancellors who manage the CFP."

Hancock said the management committee remains "extremely satisfied" with the current CFP model, which began during the 2014 season. The existing 12-year contractual agreement with ESPN is in place through the 2025 season.

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock poses with national championship trophy, Jan. 7, 2021
College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock poses with the national championship trophy, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Fla.

Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida hosted the most recent College Football National Championship game, which saw Alabama defeat Ohio State in the culmination of a pandemic-plagued season.

The venue will also serve as a semifinal site for this upcoming season's Orange Bowl.

"It is wise and good management to review where we stand as we discuss what the future might -- might, for emphasis -- look like," Hancock said.

The group informed the management committee that it anticipates making a report about the future format at an upcoming meeting.