Right now subsequent yr, the Faculty Soccer Playoff’s newest rankings will likely be revealed in a televised broadcast very similar to they had been Tuesday evening.
Whereas that’s not altering, a lot else is.
By subsequent yr, the CFP…
– may have a brand new govt director.
– may have expanded from 4 to 12 groups.
– may have developed a brand new revenue-sharing mannequin.
– may have agreed to a brand new tv deal and long-term contract.
Change is coming.
The aforementioned subjects will likely be on the heart of conferences this week in Dallas when the ten FBS convention commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick collect. The group is scheduled to satisfy on Thursday with loads of agenda gadgets to discover.
Will choices be made? Not on all of it. Right here’s the gist on every of the 4 subjects forward of Thursday’s assembly:
CFP director search
Present: Invoice Hancock is in his 18th and remaining yr presiding over faculty soccer’s postseason. He’s helped lead the group from the creation of the unique two-team, single-game CFP to the transition to the four-team mannequin and, most just lately, the shift to a 12-team playoff.
Modifications coming: Hancock is retiring and a brand new director must be employed.
The thin: CFP leaders are within the remaining levels of selecting Hancock’s alternative. A two-month search produced an array of potential candidates, from each in and outdoors of school athletics. The checklist has been narrowed to a smaller group of candidates. A director rent is anticipated to be finalized by the top of this week, a number of sources with information of the method inform Yahoo Sports activities.
Present: The CFP govt board of presidents permitted final fall to develop the four-team playoff to 12 groups, adopting a “6+6” format that grants computerized qualifiers to the six highest-ranked convention champions and at-large berths to the subsequent six highest-ranked groups. Solely convention champions are eligible for a first-round bye as top-four seeds. Seeds 5-8 host first-round video games on campus. A rotation of six bowls host quarterfinals and semifinals.
The brand new format will start with subsequent season’s playoff.
Change coming: Commissioners created the 6+6 format based mostly round there being 10 FBS conferences (5 Energy 5 conferences). That’s not the case after the Pac-12’s collapse. There’s momentum to cut back the variety of computerized qualifiers from six to 5 and improve the variety of at-large berths from six to seven — a 5+7 format change. With 9 leagues — 4 energy leagues — a 6+6 format would grant entry to a second Group of 5 convention champion, probably one that’s exterior of the highest 25. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey mentioned the playoff system, which he helped create, can’t “justify” such a factor. Nevertheless, there could also be issues in a change.
The talk: A change within the format should be a unanimous determination among the many 11 members of the CFP board. That’s the place issues get difficult. The Pac-12, regardless of the league dropping to 2 members subsequent yr, retains its voting privileges. Any format change to five+7 comes with a possible transfer to rule the Pac-12 champion — both Oregon State or Washington State — ineligible to obtain an computerized qualifier as a convention champion. Will the league stand in the way in which? There’s one other hurdle as effectively. American Athletic Convention commissioner Mike Aresco and AAC leaders need the 6+6 format to stay for the ultimate two years of the CFP contract, which runs by means of the 2025 playoff. Nevertheless, in interviews with Yahoo Sports activities, Aresco has mentioned he’s open to agreeing to a right away format change so long as the Group of 5 is assured an computerized spot within the CFP in the long run. Keep in mind, the CFP’s existence spans simply three extra playoffs. There is no such thing as a binding settlement after the 2025 season for each a playoff format and a tv contract, which we’ll get to later.
Utilizing tonight’s rankings, this is how a 12-team playoff would look based mostly on the permitted 6+6 format.
*6 auto bids to highest ranked convention champs
*6 at-large bids to subsequent highest ranked groups
*4 highest ranked convention champs get byes as 1-4 seeds pic.twitter.com/cRm2DuNguB
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) November 8, 2023
Present: The CFP at the moment divides about $460 million yearly into subdivisions. The Energy 5 splits about 80%, adopted by the Group of 5’s 20% after which a small fraction is distributed to independents and the FCS. A per-school Energy 5 lower is about $5-6 million. Commissioners agreed earlier this yr to tweak the mannequin because it pertains to distribution per convention. As a substitute of leagues within the Energy 5 receiving the identical quantity to distribute to a unique variety of groups, leagues will obtain various quantities based mostly on their membership quantity. As an illustration, the brand new Massive Ten, at 18 groups, will obtain two further items in comparison with the new-look Massive 12 and SEC, each at 16 groups.
Change coming: The Pac-12’s collapse presents a number of points, however they’re solvable. These leaving the Pac-12 are transferring to fellow Energy 5 leagues, so their distribution will principally observe them to their new house. As for Washington State and Oregon State, the 2 colleges imagine they’re entitled to proceed receiving their annual Energy 5 lower the subsequent two years (about $5-6 million every). OSU AD Scott Barnes instructed Yahoo Sports activities that the Beavers and Cougars “didn’t trigger” the collapse of the Pac-12 however that “people who did want to assist us with the answer,” he mentioned in reference to the league commissioners, three of whom expanded with Pac-12 additions. Whereas most appear to agree that OSU and WSU are due their similar annual Energy 5 lower by means of 2025-26 — although Aresco says “critical dialogue” is important within the matter — there may be one other vexing subject that’s more likely to spark debate: SMU.
The talk: SMU is transferring from the American Athletic Convention to the ACC. That’s a shift to the Energy 5 from the Group of 5, the place colleges earn about $1 million yearly. Throughout enlargement negotiations this summer season, SMU officers, in addition to these from the ACC, anticipated the Mustangs to obtain a Energy 5 distribution beginning their first season within the ACC subsequent yr — identical to the 4 latest members of the Massive 12, which additionally made G5 to P5 transitions. That matter is anticipated to generate a lot debate on Thursday. For SMU to obtain a full Energy 5 distribution, the 4 different leagues would want to take a discount. That is vital for SMU. The varsity agreed to go 9 years with out accepting TV distribution from the ACC with the understanding that it might obtain not less than $10 million in different distribution rights, which incorporates the CFP lower. The CFP lower is accountable for half of that $10 million.
Present: The CFP is in Yr 10 of a 12-year contract with ESPN. The community televises all three video games — the 2 semifinals and title sport — annually. The community pays the CFP roughly $460 million yearly for the broadcasting rights.
Modifications coming: For one, the contract expires after the 2025 playoff. Meaning there may be actually nothing contractually binding the ten FBS conferences and Notre Dame collectively in a postseason format past the 2025 playoff. Secondly, an expanded playoff in 2024 and 2025 has opened the door to early negotiations with present associate ESPN in addition to different networks. The occasion goes from three video games to 11 — an eight-game improve. Whereas ESPN owns the rights to the semifinals and championship video games in 2024 and 2025, the others can be found.
The thin: Over the past two months, a number of networks within the CFP’s broadcasting rights have made shows to commissioners, together with ESPN, FOX, NBC, Turner and streamer Amazon, together with others. Whereas there was motion final yr in securing a TV bundle with a couple of broadcasting associate, public feedback just lately from commissioners have shifted that line of considering. May one community get the complete bundle? Some really feel that, at most, two networks will break up the bundle. Negotiations have centered just lately on a extra long-term deal. Networks, together with ESPN, aren’t thinking about a brief broadcasting bundle for the remaining two years of the contract. They need a extra long-term assure. That’s anticipated, sources with information inform Yahoo Sports activities. The value has bounded about, however an annual price of not less than $1 billion is believed to be the place to begin. The hope is a brand new TV deal will likely be finalized by this season’s nationwide championship sport.