Executive Director Bill Hancock released a statement Thursday after two days of meetings in Dallas with the CFP management committee that he called “productive.”
“The support for expansion is evident, but there are several crucial details that remain under discussion,” Hancock said.
The most crucial detail facing the management committee, comprised of 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic, is how big should the expansion from the current four-team format be?
A 12-team format was unveiled in June and there was hope it would be approved in September for for implementation before the end of the current 12-year contract with ESPN that runs through the 2025 season.
Instead, the process has bogged down since it was revealed in July the Southeastern Conference planned to add Big 12 flagship schools Texas and Oklahoma by 2025.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was part of the four-person group — along with Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick —- that worked on the 12-team plan.
Sankey’s involvement in both CFP expansion and conference realignment caused relatively new conference commissioners in Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 to become more skeptical of the process and push to revisit the possibility of expanding to eight instead of 12.
Hancock said after the last meeting in late September that if the management committee can not reach a consensus on an expansion plan by January, expansion would be put on hold and the four-team format would remain in place through the length of the ESPN contract.