DALLAS — For decades, college football’s biggest rivalry game kicked off with what’s called Rivalry Week. For many, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been built around such matchups.
A side of turkey in an egg bowl. Chunks of cranberry sauce to go with The Game. Mashed potatoes and FSU Florida.
In the new world of college football, perhaps it’s time for a change.
The calendar took center stage on Thursday as leaders began working out the details of the expansion into the college football playoffs. This includes the possibility of him moving the entire schedule forward by a week. His CFP’s governing board, consisting of 10 of his FBS commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, met for about four hours. They imposed an obligation on the commissioners to compromise on details and encouraged them to come up with ways to expand the playoffs as early as 2024.
Commissioners emerged from the conference room with a common theme. It is doable, but difficult.
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said: “Lots of moving parts and lots of pieces.”
SEC’s Greg Sankey said of the early expansion: “The opportunities are there.”
CFP executive director Bill Hancock described the calendar as a “first priority.”
“Everything falls and feeds off the calendar,” he said. “When do you play these games?”
Among the vast number of issues — investigated by SI Earlier this week, the game calendar and scheduling were among the most complicated and need to be tackled before the rest. is being considered.
The concept moves the official start of the season (week 1) forward to week 0, moves the calendar forward one week, and extends the tight December window to play 11 playoff games. In this scenario, Rivalry Week would move to his third week in November, and the conference title game would begin the week of Thanksgiving.
Only one concept is under consideration.
“We had a long discussion about calendars,” Hancock admitted Thursday. “There is no solution. [commissioners] I have raised an issue that must be considered. ”
This includes academic calendars, graduation, and most notably the NFL.
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To avoid conflict with the NFL’s regular season games (the league plays several Saturday games through mid-December), first-round college playoff games may be played on Thursday nights. Two years ago it adopted its own playoff expansion, further complicating things. For example, the league has at least one wild card game scheduled for him on Monday night in mid-January. Typically, this date could be reserved for college title games in extended fields.
“Today we looked at everything for 2024, 2025 and 2026,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “I am optimistic.”
Phillips says the first step rests with Hancock and CFP staff. They will have to decide if Atlanta and Miami can host the championship games in 2024 and he’s 25 respectively if the title fight is postponed for his one week. Hancock said staff are in touch with both cities. We haven’t discussed moving the site.
“They’ve been great partners,” Hancock said of Atlanta. “They’re working on it. I’m optimistic. But there’s a lot of work to be done.”
The group’s sole focus is early expansion in 2024 or ’25, the last two years of its current 12-year deal with ESPN. In fact, a decision on expansion beyond 2026 “can wait,” Hancock said.
“They really want to do everything possible to make this happen in year 11 and 12[of the deal],” he says. “Roll up your sleeves and focus on 11 and 12.”
ESPN has exclusive rights to the 2024 and 2025 playoff expansion. Some commissioners have expressed a desire for multiple media outlets and his partners to broadcast the playoffs, but Hancock said there was no discussion of having multiple networks in 2024-25. I’m here. ”
“Everybody understands that they need to interact with multiple networks,” says Hancock. “There are 11 games. We all understand the benefits of having multiple partners.”
The calendar remains the biggest problem.
The Commissioner has set tentative dates for the four rounds, but nothing concrete. The first round takes place approximately two weeks after the conference title game. The second round begins with a typical New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day window. The semi-finals take place a week after him, followed by the championship games, which start two to three weeks before him in January, depending on the year.
However, staggering the regular season by a week eases the cramped timeline. Alternatively, the semi-finals could be played in the New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day window and the championship games could remain on their current dates. The extra time can also be used as a player’s week off.
There’s no deadline to determine if the playoffs can be extended by 2024, but “the more months we wait, the harder things get,” Hancock said. Wa’
In February, the same extended model approved last week was rejected by an 8-3 vote. The Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 Commissioners voted against. This has made the timeline for early expansion of CFP more difficult.
Had that vote passed, Sankey says, “it would have been a huge asset” to the initial expansion. “One of the downsides of not making a decision is that we haven’t moved on to the details yet. The spirit now is that we need to get this done. is expensive
At his first commissioners’ meeting since taking over the Big 12, Brett Yeomark expressed optimism about the early expansion. He said, “When an event is worth it, we do what it takes to make it happen.”
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