PSC talks stalled, weakening hopes for expansion before 2026 | Sports News


By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Talks over college football playoff expansion remain at a standstill and the possibility of implementing a new format by the 2024 season faded on Monday after three days of meetings failed. not allowed to reach an agreement.

“We have some deep rooted issues that are no closer to being resolved,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.

While Bowlsby said it seemed increasingly unlikely that an expanded playoff would come before the end of the current CFP contract which expires in 2026, that has not been fully ruled out.

“We’re going into overtime,” executive director Bill Hancock said, hours before the No. 1s in Alabama and No. 3 in Georgia played for the college football playoff national championship.

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Everyone involved supports the expansion, but they are stuck on how and when.

Hancock said the management committee, made up of 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director, is still stuck on the same lingering issues: Should conferences have an automatic qualification in a wider field, and which ones? how the bowls will be used as sites in a new system; and the health and well-being of athletes related to more games.

Mississippi State President Mark Keenum, who heads the board of directors that has the final say on the college football playoffs, said he remains optimistic that a deal could be reached in time to add playoff spots by the 2024 season.

“I think we’ll get there,” Keenum said.

A 12-team playoff proposal has been on the table since June. This proposal sees the six highest-ranked conference champions, regardless of the conference, to be in the playoff field with the next six highest-ranked teams.

It was initially hoped that a deal could be reached soon enough for it to be implemented for the 2024 season, two years before the current CFP contract with ESPN expires.

“I think it was received favorably. Since then we’ve spent some time on it, some don’t like it now, ”Bowlsby said.

Expansion before the end of the contract was estimated at an additional $ 450 million for conferences to be divided.

Bowlsby was part of a four-person subcommittee, with Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame DA Jack Swarbrick who spent two years working on the 12-team plan.

It came after the Pac-12 and Big Ten started calling for playoff expansion in 2018.

Unanimous consensus among the members of the management committee is required to modify the current agreement. Bowlsby said a vote was taken over the weekend among members of the management committee, but declined to reveal the results.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said he supports a 12-team format that features automatic bids for the Power Five conference champions. American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said he was adamantly opposed to any format giving special access to Power Five conferences.

“Everyone is more concerned with their own silo than anyone else’s,” Bowlsby said.

Sankey said the SEC has already made a huge concession by agreeing to move from the current four-team format.

“We never asked for more than four,” Sankey said. “A huge gift has been to start the conversation and a willingness to change. Asking two teams today to play another game is a huge gift and I can’t say it more clearly. missed in that.

The SEC is the only conference to be represented in the playoffs in each of its eight seasons. Monday night’s game will mark the second time two SEC teams have played for the national championship. No other conference has had this.

“This donation was because we need to have college football supported nationally. It’s a national championship, ”Sankey said.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff released a statement shortly after Monday’s meeting, trying to make it clear that his conference was ready to support one of the six extended playoff models.

Templates include the proposal that came from Sankey and Bowlsby’s group in addition to 12 teams with automatic bids for Power Five conferences, plus top-ranked group five conference champions and six general bids.

The Pac-12 statement also states that there are three versions of an eight-team model that have been discussed.

“It is clear that none of the six most discussed expansion models have unanimous consent, with most having considerable opposition, and every conference other than the Pac-12 has indicated that they would be against at least the one of the proposed models, “the statement said. noted.

Hancock had previously attempted to set some sort of deadline, saying that if Commissioners failed to reach consensus on a new format at those meetings, the expansion could only take place after the current deal is done. The playoff field would remain at four teams until 2026.

But Keenum said the commissioners will meet again in the coming weeks to continue working on a plan everyone can support.

The meetings in Indianapolis were the seventh time the commissioners have met in person to discuss the expansion since the 12-team format was released in June.

Bowlsby has compared the process since to the movie “Groundhog Day”, where every day repeats itself for the main character and called it “frustrating.”

Sankey tried to be pragmatic.

“Not trying to solve the problems is not an option,” he said. “The question of whether they can be resolved is an open question.”

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