What started last summer with the enthusiastic unveiling of a plan for a 12-team College Football Playoff has come to a halt with the cold, hard reality that expansion will not happen until at least 2026 – if at all.
The CFP is set to remain a four-team format through the 2025 season after the administrators who manage the postseason failed to agree on a plan to expand before the current contracts run out.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t get something in place,” American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press on Friday. “Time was running out. The disappointment also stems from the fact that I think we will eventually get there and I think 12-team is still the most likely scenario.”
The CFP management committee, comprised of 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, met by video conference earlier this week.
Aresco, who released a letter Monday detailing the obstacles to expansion, said the purpose of the call was to determine if anyone’s position had changed.
“Positions hadn’t changed. So at that point, I guess the implications were clear,” he said.
Unable to break an impasse, the commissioners decided to abandon efforts to implement a 12-team format for the 2024 season and recommended staying with the current model to the presidents who oversee the playoff.
The Board of Managers accepted the recommendation Thursday and directed the commissioners to continue discussions on a new format to go into effect for the 2026 season.
“I don’t think it becomes any easier,” Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “In fact, I think it becomes more complicated.”
As Aresco said: “After 2025 there is no playoff.”
The decision to shelve early expansion comes as no surprise. The commissioners left their last in-person meetings in early…