The Faculty Soccer Playoff administration committee will contemplate increasing the present four-team discipline to a 12-team format when it meets in Chicago subsequent week, marking step one in what could possibly be one other historic change for the game’s postseason.
The proposal doesn’t embody ensures for convention champions. As a substitute, it requires the bracket to incorporate the six highest-ranked convention champions, plus the six highest-ranked different groups as decided by the CFP’s choice committee. There could be no restrict on the variety of members from a convention, and no league would qualify mechanically.
“This proposal at its coronary heart was created to offer extra participation, for extra gamers and extra faculties,” CFP government director Invoice Hancock mentioned. “In a nutshell, that’s the working group’s message.”
The proposal, which was written by a subcommittee comprised of Massive 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, was introduced to your entire group of FBS commissioners Thursday morning.
Along with offering a chance to a bigger discipline and growing participation, Bowlsby was candid about one other challenge that factored into the willingness to think about enlargement: the sting of being not noted.
“We in all probability underestimated — ‘we’ being the A5 commissioners — how troublesome it was to be on the surface wanting in on a four-team playoff,” Bowlsby mentioned. “I believe that was an element. There was actually a lot of consternation round these of us that have been not noted at one time or one other, so I believe that was a component of it.”
The 10 FBS commissioners and Swarbrick should agree on a format once they meet subsequent Thursday and Friday to debate the subject in particular person for the primary time since earlier than the coronavirus pandemic. Whereas the 4 members of the working group spent the previous two years researching the chances to finally conclude that 12 groups present the very best alternative, it is nonetheless doable the seven different members of their group may help one other format or take challenge with the advice.
When requested what roadblocks may stop the commissioners from agreeing on the 12-team proposal subsequent week, American Athletic Convention commissioner Mike Aresco advised ESPN he thinks “it has a extremely good probability of creating a consensus.”
“I believe it is onerous to assault it,” mentioned Aresco. “I believe it is a well-thought-out plan. I actually just like the equalization idea, that each one FBS have a shot. … I do not assume in that sense it has any flaws or weaknesses that will come to thoughts.”
Below the proposal for a 12-team format, the 4 highest-ranked convention champions could be seeded 1-Four and obtain a first-round bye. Groups 5-12 would play one another within the first spherical on the house discipline of the higher-ranked group. The quarterfinals and semifinals could be performed in bowl video games and the nationwide championship sport would stay at a impartial web site.
Additionally underneath this proposal: Even when Notre Dame is the No. 1 group within the nation, it can’t obtain a bye or be seeded increased than No. 5. The choice committee’s prime 25 is completely different from the seeding as a result of the highest 4 seeds go to the highest-ranked convention champions.
“The sensible impact of this can be that with 4 or 5 weeks to go within the season, there can be 25 or 30 groups which have a reputable declare and sensible alternative to take part,” Bowlsby mentioned. “That ought to make for a very good October and November.”
The primary-round video games would happen on campus someday through the two-week interval following convention championship video games. The quarterfinals could be performed on Jan. 1 — or Jan. 2 when New Yr’s Day falls on a Sunday — and on an adjoining day.
This mannequin permits for the potential of groups competing in 17 video games, however Swarbrick mentioned it is “extremely unlikely.” He identified that to ensure that that to occur, a group seeded No. 5-12 must play in a convention championship sport, qualify for a first-round sport after which run the desk.
“The path to get to 17 on this mannequin is not unattainable,” Swarbrick mentioned, “however there have been a number of issues inbuilt to make that extremely unlikely.”
The 4 members of the working group have been made accessible to reporters on a teleconference Thursday afternoon, and so they agreed that lots of the identical questions posed by reporters would even be raised subsequent weekend by their friends in Chicago.
One of many points they have been pressed on was the dearth of a home-field benefit past the opening spherical — when the highest 4 convention champions would obtain byes. So long as the playoff is working underneath the present contract, it has to honor its agreements with the New Yr’s Six Bowls, except everybody concerned in these contracts agrees to vary them.
The working group did not embody which bowls is likely to be part of the CFP sooner or later, nevertheless it did suggest that if “conventional bowls” host video games, groups could be assigned to their conventional bowls for quarterfinal video games with the precedence going to the higher-seeded group.
“I’d add I believe this mannequin, along with the bowls, provides school soccer a chance to reassert possession of New Yr’s Eve and New Yr’s Day in a extremely highly effective manner,” Swarbrick mentioned. “That is such an necessary a part of the custom of school soccer, and this permits us to reassert that.”
“We selected deliberately to honor that,” Bowlsby mentioned.
Whereas the dates of the semifinal video games and championship sport aren’t decided, the report acknowledged that the semifinals probably wouldn’t be performed as a doubleheader. The CFP bracket would comply with the choice committee’s rankings, with no modifications to keep away from rematches of groups that may have performed through the common season or are from the identical convention.
One of many different quirks of the proposed mannequin is that Notre Dame and different independents cannot obtain a bye as a result of they do not have the chance to win a convention championship. When requested about it on Thursday, Swarbrick mentioned dryly, “I look ahead to by no means listening to once more about how we performed one much less sport or do not have a convention championship.”
If the group agrees on a mannequin, it can current the plan to the 11 presidents and chancellors who comprise the CFP’s board of managers at a gathering in Dallas on June 22. If the board of managers approves the plan, the commissioners and Swarbrick will use the summer season to determine how you can implement it — and when. One other assembly is scheduled for September, and any modifications to the format would finally be made by the presidents and chancellors.
“It is step one in a protracted course of that will not finish earlier than September,” Hancock mentioned.
Hancock has mentioned the playoff is not going to develop this yr or subsequent. The present, 12-year settlement runs by means of the 2025-26 season. The working group didn’t embody any potential dates for implementation in its suggestion.
“The timing of the implementation can be determined by the presidents later,” Hancock mentioned. “There are current contracts for the 12 years that must be reviewed. The administration committee has to endorse this, and the presidents must authorize additional analysis.”