Sources: Optimism structure for 14-team CFP

  • Pete Thamel Heather Dinich Close Heather Dinich ESPN Elder Writer College football reporter Joined ESPN.com in 2007 Graduate of Indiana University Feb 28, 2024, 07:08 PM ET The future

    • of the College Football Playoff contract after the 2025 season stays uncertain, with executive director Costs Hancock saying

    recently there’s a”requirement “for the offer to be done in the next month.Since its inception in 2014, when it produced a four-team model for a sport with 5 significant conferences, the CFP has been unwieldy and awkward.The only certainty has actually been a slow speed, grass squabbles and an unsteady conference environment that has kept whatever fluid.But as Hancock’s one-month due date of mid-March looms, there’s optimism and “momentum”for a 14-team playoff beginning in 2026, sources told ESPN. There is an effort to come to an agreement in the coming weeks, sources stated, but nothing is specific, and there are potential obstructions and expected push back– as evidenced by the CFP’s own winding course to a 12-team playoff.Editor’s Picks

    1 Related The television side of the deal has currently been consented to in principle. Starting in 2026, ESPN is poised to invest an average of nearly $1.3 billion on the playoff for 6 seasons.That leaves the CFP

    ‘s two management groups– the board of supervisors( presidents and chancellors )and management committee(commissioners and Notre Dame management)– to come to a decision on the format to get the deal done.The objective is for all the commissioners to reconvene next week by means of video conferencing to further discuss things, sources told ESPN.”There’s a lot of pressure to get it done or stop talking about

    it,”one source said.Another source summed the careful optimism of cohesion in the group this way:”The balance

    in the room is how to acknowledge contributions of the Big Ten and SEC while likewise being fair and collective to the cumulative space.”There’s three significant concerns moving forward– gain access to through automatic qualification, department of money and how the group will be governed.Sources warn that the conversations are continuous and fluid, and there’s still work being done on these three major concerns. This is where things currently stand, with sources saying things could change.FORMAT The expected boost in automated certification spots so not long after the start of the five AQ spots in the 12-team playoff that begins this season is a nod to altering conference dynamics.According to

    sources, the model that’s made one of the most conversation coming out of the CFP conference in Dallas is one that would include three automated qualifier spots for the Big 10 and SEC, 2 for the Big 12 and ACC and one for the Group of 5.

    That would leave three at-large spots in that 14-team model.Who’s In?How many?SEC 3 automatic qualifiers Huge 10 3 automatic qualifiers ACC 2 automatic qualifiers Huge 12 2 automated qualifiers Group of 5 1 automatic qualifiers At big 3 areas * Notre Dame 1 area *** Depending upon Notre Dame ** If in leading 14 on Selection Day As for Notre Dame, sources informed ESPN that the most likely choice being gone over is that the Combating Irish would earn an area in the 14-team CFP

    if the selection committee ranks them in the top 14 on Choice Day.Sources warn there are other designs being discussed, and there requires to be a deeper discussion about how strength of schedule would factor into the 3/3, 2/2 ,1 and 3 design. The CFP isn’t locked into that design, and still has a methods to go.There has

    not been significant modeling done yet by Hancock and CFP authorities regarding how these designs would have unfolded in the CFP period. If things change from the AQ distribution that’s been most talked about, it might be because of what modeling would reveal the results could look like in the upcoming years. Any workout is difficult, nevertheless, since no

    one knows what a 16-team SEC and 18-team Big 10 are going to look like at the end of the season.By including strong programs and compromising other leagues, it’s hard to project what upcoming years will appear like in the SEC and Big 10.

    The potential of SEC and Big Ten teams being displaced from the leading 14– as they have 34 groups and a bulk of the title-contending programs– is genuine and will be examined more in the upcoming weeks.How would that work? Essentially, a team ranked No. 13 or No. 14, for example, might wind up getting bumped by the Group of 5 winner or second-place ACC or Big 12 group in a year when the league has a runaway winner and not a clear 2nd choice. There is likewise the possibility, though

    , that the Big Ten and SEC’s fourth-best teams– and possibly fifth– would discover a landing spot in the CFP through one of those three at-large spots.The modeling is difficult, as college sports stay a moving target. This ESPN deal would run through the 2031 season, and it’s na├»ve to think the conference map will look the like it does today.

    One high-ranking authorities associated with the conversations informed ESPN on Wednesday that the presidents and chancellors in both the SEC and Big Ten are having discussions about whether to continue their NCAA subscription. It’s a relocation that would impact and could possibly thwart the television contract. “Those discussions are happening,”the source said, including some feel”quite highly about retreating. I ‘d say very strongly.”ESPN reported earlier this month that Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti pointed out in a conference this fall about the potential of an expanded playoff.All CFP politics are local, and Petitti’s chair is easy to comprehend. He has an 18-team league with 4 new groups– USC, Oregon, Washington and UCLA. 2 of those 4– Oregon and Washington– took part in the CFP as Pac-12 members in the past decade. USC has won a national title on the field considering that the turn of the century.Petitti values the manner in which automated credentials games might include meaning and interest late in the routine season– similar to the NFL.

    College football fans will need to be conditioned to the reality that a three-loss group with a rigorous strength of schedule can still make the

    playoff after generations where perfection or near-perfection was essentially required.FINANCES There’s some leg work to go on the financial resources and how they are divided, but the image is getting clearer if a 14-team model passes.In the old design, about 80 %of the CFP revenue went to the Power 5, while 20%has been designated to the Group of 5. According to the most current information from the CFP, each of the Power 5 conferences got$ 79.41 million– a total of nearly $400 million– in the spring of 2023. The Group of 5 conferences shared$102.77 million.

    Notre Dame received a payment of$3.89 million by satisfying the NCAA’s APR standard, while the other 6 independents shared$1.89 million.The new design promises to be more weighted toward the SEC and Big Ten.Sources informed ESPN that discussions have centered around the SEC and Big Ten earning somewhere between 25%and 30 %of the CFP earnings. The ACC and Big 12 would be next, and they ‘d earn someplace in between 15%and 20%. That leaves a smaller portion– someplace around 6%

    to 10%for the other leagues and almost 1%for Notre Dame.The mathematics isn’t clean, sources warn, as some money requires to go to expenses, and to locations like the other staying independent(UConn ). But those are the general monetary ballparks being gone over. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has actually made it clear that the SEC has actually provided 40 %of the teams in the playoff, and he has actually been one of the primary motorists behind a brand-new income model.As always with money, this isn’t easy. However the ranges are refined enough where they seem narrowed in.GOVERNANCE Something CFP leaders appear all in favor of is getting rid of the guideline that requires unanimity to make modifications to the playoff. Often it’s the 10 FBS commissioners who can’t agree. Other times, it’s the 11 university presidents and chancellors who have the supreme authority over the playoff.Regardless, the guideline has actually brought substantial propositions to a screeching halt or caused contentious hold-ups. In February 2022, the CFP announced it would stay a four-team playoff following an 8-3 vote in which the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 voted against growth. It wasn’t up until seventh months later on that the presidents and chancellors took over the commissioners and unanimously accepted broaden the format to 12 teams.CFP leaders wish to prevent another situation like they had recently when the Pac-12 single-handedly delayed the move from a 6 +6 design to 5 +7 in the 12-team format. The vote had to be consentaneous, and the Pac-12 had either formerly abstained or requested for a hold-up as it worked

    on determining its future following sweeping realignment.Earlier this month, Washington State president Kirk Schulz, who represents the 2 Pac-12 schools onthe CFP board, voted in favor of the 5 +7 design, finally authorizing the modification to reward the 5 highest-ranked conference champs with playoff areas.”You do not desire someone holding it up,” a source stated, “that just doesn’t work.”

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