Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is bullish on an expanded College Football Playoff, potentially before 2025

LOS ANGELES — Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is so bullish on College Football Playoff enlargement that he advised ESPN on Friday he potentially sees the format altering before the present contracts finish following the 2025 season.

“I’m actually assured that we will increase the College Football Playoff,” Kliavkoff advised ESPN. “It really would not shock me as soon as we agree on the format, if it occurs before the tip of the present time period. Once you comply with the format, why would not you?”

Kliavkoff’s feedback are counter to the notion populated by the College Football Playoff board of managers in February that the format wouldn’t increase till a brand new format is put in place for the 2026 season. Others expressed skepticism on the timeline, contemplating that an enlargement determination would should be made within the upcoming months. The subsequent CFP assembly is in mid-August by way of Zoom, sources advised ESPN, and there is one other one deliberate a month later.

Kliavkoff’s optimism is primarily based on the tenor of the latest CFP assembly in Park City, Utah, final month. “[It was] the best CFP assembly I’ve been in. I’m extremely optimistic that we’re really going to get there.”

Can that result in a brand new format before the tip of the present contract? That would require unanimous approval, which is at all times difficult in a room with so many dynamics and stakeholders.

“We’re nearer than we have ever been to agreeing to a format,” Kliavkoff stated. “The lack of settlement a few format held us again from doing it rapidly, versus slowly.

“I stated it again after we initially met on this. Once you comply with a format, you may shoehorn that into the present contract. If we agree on what it seems to be like previous the present contract, why would not you try to do it “faster?”

In the autumn, there was dialogue about increasing the playoff area as early as 2024 or 2025, however the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 in the end voted towards it in January and February for numerous causes. In order for it to nonetheless occur before the present, 12-year contract expires after the 2025 season, CFP government director Bill Hancock advised ESPN, “many, many particulars must be labored out.”

“We’ll need to see,” Hancock stated. “There’s much more speak forward.” Hancock stated the commissioners have not talked about playoff enlargement since June and the presidents and chancellors have not mentioned it since May.

“The board and the administration committee will focus on the format when the time comes,” Hancock stated. “I do really feel just like the commissioners have been extra open to vary and collaborative once they met in June than they have been in February.”

Hancock stated the June assembly didn’t embody any discuss a possible 16-team format, and the dialog was extra philosophical than it was “within the weeds” a few format. The commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick initially preferred the idea of rewarding the highest 4 groups with a bye within the 12-team format — one thing that will be misplaced with a 16-team area.

Swarbrick didn’t rule out the opportunity of an accelerated timeline for a brand new CFP, however stated it might be tough to increase the sphere throughout the present contract.

“I feel the calendar is the impediment,” Swarbrick stated. “I can see the intent being there, nevertheless it’s not straightforward. It’s so dependent on the scale of the playoff.”

Swarbrick was one of many authors of the unique 12-team proposal, together with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, outgoing Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson. Swarbrick stated the rationale they favored 12 over 16 was as a result of “we liked the byes.”

“We liked how that rewarded groups,” he stated, including that any discussions he is been part of concerning a 16-team area so far have been “very conceptual.”

Sankey was not instantly accessible for remark.

Kliavkoff added that he has not delved into the main points of the influence of tv contracts. One of the possible steps within the subsequent playoff, because it advanced from 4 groups, will probably be a number of tv companions. Right now, ESPN owns all of the rights to the four-team playoff. Fox can be the anticipated favourite to hitch ESPN within the bidding, because the CFP goals to potentially mannequin its postseason after the NFL’s and have a number of rights holders.

What that formally seems to be like nonetheless hasn’t been determined, however the notion of a possible 16-game playoff continues to be perpetuated. Kliavkoff talked about the dynamic within the room is altering now that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren is anticipated to tamp down his demand for computerized qualifiers, one of many key hindrances for the 12-team playoff. He additionally talked about one of many ACC’s points — a 365-day calendar assessment — is underway and more likely to be resolved.

“I’m in favor of increasing the College Football Playoff,” Kliavkoff stated. “I haven’t got explicit points between 12 and 16. I perceive the arguments for and towards.”

He added: “It’ll be attention-grabbing now that I feel Kevin is backing away from his demand for computerized qualifiers. I’m prepared to enter the room and hear.”

That 16-team concept possible brings with it calendar points, as Swarbrick talked about, and the possible debate of whether or not leagues would potentially eradicate their convention title video games in favor of that weekend being reserved for the primary weekend of the playoff. That would possible require a number of contractual gymnastics and monetary lodging for these whose league title video games are value essentially the most cash.

But the thought, for instance, of Ohio State taking part in Michigan to shut the season, then taking part in USC within the league title recreation and embarking from there on a possible four-game playoff run is a frightening one. Kliavkoff stated he plans to proceed to stump for the Rose Bowl, even within the wake of the Big Ten poaching two of the Pac-12’s most respected manufacturers. The Rose Bowl has lengthy been a contract between the Big Ten and Pac-12.

“Three hours each three years for the Rose Bowl,” Kliavkoff stated. “We’re 100% dedicated. It’s necessary. It’s a part of the historical past and custom of school athletics. When we begin throwing out traditions for cash, that is after we get ourselves in hassle. It’s not an enormous ask.”

Kliavkoff would not reply to the quotes from Warren from Big Ten media days that the 2 hadn’t spoken for the reason that Big Ten broke the alliance between three leagues by taking two of the Pac-12’s colleges.

“I’m not speaking about who I talked to and who I did not speak to,” he stated.

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