The current four team College Football Playoff format will remain in place until at least the end of the 2025 college football season, Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, announced via a statement Friday morning.
Talks of an expansion to a 12 team format have swirled since the CFP’s inception and really ramped up with the realignment madness over the summer, but there will be no expansion until after the current 12-year media deal with ESPN expires following the 2025 season.
“The Board of Managers has accepted a recommendation from the Management Committee to continue the current four-team playoff for the next four years, as called for in the CFP’s original 12-year plan,” Hancock wrote in the statement. “At the same time, the Board expects the Management Committee to continue its discussions of a new format that would go into effect for the 2026-27 season.
“Even though the outcome did not lead to a recommendation for an early expansion before the end of the current 12-year contract, the discussions have been helpful and informative. I am sure they will serve as a useful guide for the Board of Managers and for the Management Committee as we determine what the Playoff will look like beginning in the 2026-2027 season.”
The decision to hold off on any playoff expansion could have a ripple effect upon the college football landscape as Oklahoma and Texas are set to join the SEC, UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU are set to join the Big 12 and the Alliance is set to be formed between the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten.
In closer to home news, Pitt’s 12th place post-conference championship finish would have been enough to qualify for the CFP in 2021, if expansion has taken place and been approved before the season, but a Top 4 finish will be required to qualify for the playoffs over the next four seasons.
It does appear that the 12 team CFP is in the cards, but it’s going to take a while longer yet until the details and the date are finally worked out by the committee even after the last year of meetings and negotiation that took place.