College football is dealing with a complicated playoff expansion puzzle

Lots of pieces need to fall into place when the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams.

Roger Steinman/AP

The College Football Playoff is built to expand.

While only three games determine a champion, the current format is seven games: Two semifinals, a title game and four marquee bowls. To convert a four-team playoff into a 12-team version requires four more games and about three more weeks.

The four-team model is already scheduled for 2024 and ‘25 seasons, but conference commissioners who manage the CFP are working to flip the format for those years.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of pieces,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said earlier this month after a meeting of the management committee in Dallas.

True, but the framework is there.

Expanding for the 2024 and ‘25 seasons — and accessing an additional $450 million in revenue over those two years —- largely hinges upon whether the semifinals and championship games can be pushed back from their existing dates, with venue availability, big-event accommodations and television windows all lined up.

“It’s the calendar,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “It’s when are we going to play these games?”

The NFL schedule will play a huge role in determining when games will be played in a 12-team format for both 2024 and ‘25 and beyond.

A warning to college football fans: Be prepared playoff games on weeknights.

The four new first-round games to be played on campus will be played at least 12 days after the conference championship games, currently played the first weekend of December. This gives teams that play for their conference titles extra rest and keeps Army-Navy as the …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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