The College Football Playoff will adjust its 12-team format next year and move to a 5+7 model, with five automatic bids for conference champions, instead of the original 6+6.
The CFP Executive Committee, which consists of 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, has recommended a 5+7 format to the CFP Board of Managers for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, one of the people said. Athletic. The Board of Managers consists of 11 university presidents and chancellors. Yahoo Sports first reported this news.
Additionally, the management committee recommends a conference policy of at least eight teams to qualify for one of the five automatic qualification points. The other seven spots go to major teams.
Both changes are a response to the decline of the Pac-12, which currently has two teams, Oregon State and Washington State, next season. The schools are in an ongoing legal battle with their league over the Pac-12’s decision and control over funding, and it’s unclear whether they will fold into another conference or try to lure teams from elsewhere to rebuild the league.
The CFP’s school presidents must vote unanimously for the 5+7 change, Washington State president Kirk Schulz is the Pac-12 representative, but it would be surprising if the recommendation isn’t approved.
Thursday’s management team in Dallas was hot, people in the room said. It was evident throughout the day that the commissioners left the room less friendly and relaxed than they had been when leaving previous meetings.
“We’ve been in the weeds, we’ve been in tough issues,” said MAC Commissioner John Steinbrecher. Athletic At the end of the meeting. “They’re not always fun.”
Asked about the various changes after the meeting, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey responded only, “We’ll see,” each time.
The change would eliminate the possibility that the Group of 5 conferences would receive two automatic bids when the 12-team CFP begins next year, something Changi has publicly opposed. American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco has expressed support for moving to a 5+7 model in 2026 and beyond when a new television deal and process begins, but has backed away from doing so in 2024 and 2025.
The original 12-group CFP plan, with a 6+6 format, was originally created with 2026 in mind. It was later moved to 2024, and the Pac-12 collapse gave the Group of 5 some unexpected short-term leverage with two spots. But in the end, the commissioners agreed to a 5+7 change for the next two seasons. (6+6 is technically still in place in 2026, but that too is expected to change as more details of the next deal are decided.)
The changes aren’t official yet, and the conferences still have a number of issues, including revenue sharing and a television deal for next season. Executive director Bill Hancock said the 12-team CFP is not looking to have more than two TV partners for 11 games, but discussions are ongoing. Streaming-only options are also on the table. ESPN has the right to match bids for eight first- and second-round games in 2024 and 2025. The entire deal is open to 2026 and beyond.
The format change wasn’t the only news. On Friday, the CFP named Air Force superintendent and Lt. Gen. Richard Clarke to replace Hancock as its next executive director.
(Photo: Kirby Lee / USA Today)