College Football Playoff expansion delayed as officials fail to form consensus over numerous issues

INDIANAPOLIS — If the College Football Playoff expands, it does not appear as if it will happen anytime soon. The CFP Board of Managers failed Monday to approve a proposal for an expanded 12-team playoff field with Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby saying after the group’s scheduled meeting that the managers “didn’t even get close” to coming to an agreement.

While the CFP Management Committee (conference commissioners) did make a recommendation Monday to the managers (school presidents) on how to move forward with a 12-team expansion, the committee’s proposal was not unanimous, according to board chairman Mark Keenum, president at Mississippi State. The managers similarly failed to form a consensus Monday as a means of moving forward.

The hope from some officials was that an expanded playoff could begin as soon as the 2024 season. Instead, it appears more likely the playoff will not expand until its current 12-year television contract with ESPN ends ahead of the 2026 season.

Bowlsby was visibly upset Monday. After taking more than six months to digest a detailed 12-team playoff expansion proposal, he and the parties in charge of implementing it seem further apart than ever.

“I am disappointed,” said Bowlsby following meetings that spanned a combined 8 hours across three days. “… We have entrenched issues. They are no closer to being resolved than they were [before our meetings].”

CFP executive director Bill Hancock is “not closing the door” on expansion occurring before that 2026 date; however, he did admit Monday that coming to a consensus among college football’s commissioners and school presidents is “getting harder and harder” as the process continues.

“We’re going into overtime,” Hancock said. “… It’s getting late with every day…

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