CFP board delays vote on 12-team proposal

  • College football reporter
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
  • Graduate of Indiana University

The College Football Playoff board of managers, which has the authority to change the playoff, will not vote next week on a proposed 12-team format, CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Wednesday.

The board of managers that is comprised of 11 presidents and chancellors instead will have a videoconference rather than gathering in-person with the commissioners as planned.

Members of the CFP management committee, which is comprised of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, met in Dallas on Wednesday to further dive into a number of issues that have been raised with the 12-team proposal.

“[It] was a great meeting, one of the best we’ve had,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN.

Swarbrick said there are enough lingering issues that the commissioners weren’t ready to present a recommendation yet to the presidents for their approval.

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“I think we can continue to keep them informed and they’ll decide when they’re prepared to vote,” Swarbrick said. “It’s ultimately their decision. We thought there remained some issues to be addressed and it would be important for us to address them before we make a recommendation or ask them to act.”

It was a change of plans, as the presidents had booked travel in anticipation of greater support for the 12-team format. Sources have said there is some support in the room to further explore an eight-team model.

“The support for expansion is clear, which is great,” Swarbrick said when asked if there was enough support for 12 teams, or if an eight-team model was garnering any serious consideration. “I think the focus will be on the issues surrounding the 12-team model.”

Speedbumps have developed this summer following the SEC’s decision to add Oklahoma and Texas to the conference. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was a member of the CFP’s four-person working group that ultimately concluded the 12-team model was the best option.

The collegiate landscape has shifted significantly since June, when the presidents and commissioners last met to discuss the 12-team format, which at the time had garnered more widespread support.

“As the committee moves forward, there remain issues to be discussed,” Hancock said in a prepared statement. “Given the complexity of these matters, the management committee will meet again in Chicago next week to continue our discussions.

“As we said in June when the 12-team playoff was proposed, that was the first step in a long process. It is vital that all issues be fully explored and addressed. We look forward to our meeting in Chicago next week.”

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