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CFP Playoff board will reportedly meet with ‘momentum’ building toward expansion by 2024

cfp playoff
Credit: USA Today Network

The hopes for CFP Playoff expansion are reportedly building serious “momentum” and could be on the way for college football fans in 2024.

On Thursday, ESPN broke the news that the College Football Playoff (CFP) board was set to meet virtually on Friday to talk about the possibility of expanding the highly popular tournament. As of now, the CFP includes just the top four ranked teams at the end of the season in a two-game battle to decide the king of college football for that year. However, there is some solid movement towards the change that didn’t happen in February.

“There’s momentum,” a source with knowledge of the conversations told ESPN. “There’s definitely momentum.”

The meeting tomorrow will include the 11 board members, which consists of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. While there very well could be discussions on expanding the number of teams involved in the 2024 playoff, there is still reportedly just a “50-50” chance that the idea will be put to an actual vote.

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One major reason to spice things up and add more teams — something many fans and pundits have long clamored for — is the fact that the CFP is entering the final years of a 12-year contract signed with ESPN that will come to a close in 2025. Expanding things would certainly add further value to a new long-term television deal.

Why a CFP Playoff expansion still has major hurdles to climb

cfp playoff
Credit: USA Today Network

There is certainly reason to be hopeful about CFP expansion, but the board attempted to do such a thing earlier this year. However, expansion can only come if all 11 board members agree on the decision. After months of negotiations, the move failed in an 8-3 vote in February.

Passing on expansion reportedly cost the 10 FBS conferences, and Notre Dame, as much as $450 million in possible future revenue. That forfeited money has since led conferences like the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 to push harder publicly for CFP Playoff expansion. In July, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff was optimistic about the possibility of expansion sooner than later.

“We’re closer than we ever have been to agreeing to a format. The lack of agreement about a format held us back from doing it quickly, as opposed to slowly. I said it back when we originally met on this. Once you agree to a format, you can shoehorn that into the existing contract. If we agree on what it looks like past the existing contract, why wouldn’t you try and do it quicker?”

George Kliavkoff on CFP expansion (via ESPN)

Commissioners are tasked with developing the model for expansion, and once agreed upon, it is put to vote by the board. While there is reason for optimism, the report states there is still some that are worried the process may be rushed and the most effective model won’t be created. Some contentions among the commissioners still include “whether conference champions should automatically qualify for a spot, how revenue would be distributed and what the bowl system would look like — particularly the Rose Bowl.”

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