A subset of conferences could decide the new format of the call for proposals from 2026, says Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff

LAS VEGAS – The Pac-12 remains in favor of expanding the college football qualifiers – as soon as possible – and if the current impasse between the 11 entities that make up the CFP’s management committee does not reach an agreement on a format to be implemented for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the West Coast Power 5 conference could join some of its peers in reaching consensus on a new playoff format starting in 2026.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said the league is “very supportive of the multiple proposals” that have been discussed over the past few months, including the eight-team and 12-team formats, with and without automatic qualifiers for them. conference champions of at least the Power 5 conferences. These proposals were discussed at a CFP management committee meeting earlier this week, but the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick were unable to reach a unanimous decision on a format. to recommend the board of directors of the CFP.

“I think one of the great things we started doing at the meeting in Dallas last week is to start focusing on what we want the playoffs to look like beyond the current tenure and I thinks we don’t need 11 people to say ‘yes’ to come up with a solution that would be good for college football, ”Kliavkoff said. “And if we find that solution, then we can ask ourselves whether or not we can do it for ’24 and ’25 as well, which I think would be great for varsity athletics but also for our student-athletes. Our current football playoff system allows only 3% of our student-athletes to compete for a championship. This is compared to 18-25% on average for the rest of college sports. It is a broken system; We have to fix it. “

Kliavkoff, whose term as commissioner officially began on July 1, has repeatedly said that changing the current format of the four-team CFP, which runs throughout the 2025 season, requires unanimous approval from all 10 conferences. and Notre-Dame.

This group is at a stalemate as to whether to expand to eight or 12 teams, although eight would not add games and therefore increase revenue until the end of the current CFP period while 12 would add more games. games that are expected to increase CFP revenue by $ 450 million in the 2024-25 seasons, according to Sports Illustrated.

A major issue within the group is the automatic qualifiers for at least the Power 5 champions. In an eight-team model, the automatic qualifiers are not supported by either the SEC conference or the Group of 5, who want to guarantee themselves. a square. The 12-team model proposed over the summer calls for the six top-ranked conference champions to receive offers, but Big Ten’s Kevin Warren and ACC’s Jim Phillips have indicated they want the Power 5 conferences get automatic offers regardless of their ranking. A 12-team model with automatic bids for these leagues and the top 5-group champion has some misgivings from the AAC and others.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who was part of the four-man task force that crafted the 12-team proposal unveiled in June, told reporters in Dallas on Saturday that the expansion is “in some way threatened at this. stage “and might not be possible in 2025 Either.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, also a member of the task force, has repeatedly said his conference is ready to stay with the current four-team format, but he believes the expansion is more inclusive for the sport.

If a subset, say the Power 5 and Notre Dame for example, reached agreement on a new CFP format from 2026 and also agreed that future changes would require less than unanimous approval, it could speed up the process of format change Short term.

Kliavkoff hinted at this repeatedly in his remarks ahead of Friday’s Pac-12 championship game, but declined to answer if that was a possible motive behind such talks.

“If you look beyond the current PCP model, you don’t start by saying that we all have to agree, I think,” Kliavkoff said. “I think you start off by saying, who is the group that needs to agree on a model in which we can hopefully invite others to join us? It’s just a different paradigm of how you think about who has to make a decision on what this model looks like.

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