Will College Football Playoff expansion happen earlier than 2026? | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the meeting of the College Football Playoff committee at which the committee is working on a plan of when to start the expanded Playoff and when the games will be held.

Video Transcript


DAN WETZEL: Ross, you were up in Chicago at the playoff meetings-- the latest playoff meetings. We are not expecting an announcement that they've done what they were told today?


DAN WETZEL: Or are they going to blow it anyway? What are we getting out of Chicago here? What do we getting out of this meeting?

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah. Yeah. Well, the CFP commissioners, in Jack Swarbrick, the 11 of them, are meaning most of the day Tuesday afternoon, evening, and then they're supposed to restart meetings for a couple of hours Wednesday morning before a separate meeting with all the Division I commissioners meet-- the Conference Commissioners Association-- CCA. And the first thing they need to do is the calendar.

And that's the big thing, is when to play the games. You konw, how to structure the games. When to play the first round, the quarters, the semis, and, of course, the championship game. So that, I think, probably, Wednesday morning. We'll have a better idea on when those games will be played. They're going to take those proposed dates, probably. The next step is to bring it to the network, bring it to ESPN, but I don't think we'll have any final decisions until their October meeting. I think that's kind of a deadline-- the October 20th meeting. It's in Dallas and I think that's the deadline, kind of, of, OK, we're going to expand early or we're not going to expand early.

DAN WETZEL: So, I think what everyone wants to know is like, what are the chances this starts early?


DAN WETZEL: Or starts late, but early.

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah. Well, you know, the earliest you could start is '24-- the '24 season. There's a lot of confusion about that, by the way. So it would be the 2025 Championship Game-- January 2025-- but it would be the 2024 season, so it'd be two seasons from now.

DAN WETZEL: One more way that they can confuse us. One more way.


Yeah. So--

DAN WETZEL: When the hell is this starting, Ross?


When do we get the playoff? Somebody tell me.

ROSS DELLENGER: So I think it's going to start in '24. And a lot of it is going to have to do with TV. You know, ESPN controls the rights to '24 and '25. They control those TV rights. Will ESPN be flexible on cutting off, in letting another entity take some of the games? I don't know. It's kind of hard to see that happening. But, you know-- and I wrote this a couple of weeks ago from their first meetings in Dallas about this-- and it is we get to all prepare for week night playoff games.

It's almost certain going to happen. It's to avoid the NFL games. You know, mid, late December the NFL starts to play on Saturdays and it's hard. You don't want to compete with them and it's hard to have four first round games on one day anyway. So there's been a little rumbling, right, that you might have a game on Wednesday night, game on Thursday night, game on Friday night, game on Saturday before the NFL games. Or two games on-- or a game on Thursday, Friday, and two games on Saturday. We're going to have some week night situation playoff games. We got to prepare-- kind of be prepared for that.

DAN WETZEL: All right.

PAT FORDE: I'm got to fine with that. I mean, especially because, at that point, the academic calendar will be over for the semester. Again, I am the crank who keeps bringing up academics around here, but theoretically, good. I like week night football in December. We watch Bowl games all the time during that stretch.


PAT FORDE: So, let's get those quarterfinals or get the first round and the quarterfinals in there wherever we need to and make it happen.

DAN WETZEL: I mean, to me, like, a Friday night game would just be, like, amazing. Like--

PAT FORDE: It'd be fantastic, wouldn't it?