The conference commissioners who manage the College Football Playoff have decided to stick with a four-team format during this pandemic-altered season after the Pac-12 made a request to consider expansion.
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott asked the rest of management committee to consider having eight teams play for the national championship this season. ESPN first reported Scott broaching the subject.
The request was made because of disruptions to the season caused by the pandemic. Conferences are not playing the same number of games, are starting play at different times and there are no interconference matchups between Power Five leagues.
Hancock said the committee, with 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, had a “civil and thoughtful discussion.”
“To do it now, it's such a significant change with so many challenges, especially with the season started, they thought it was best to not make a change,” Hancock said.
Hancock added any decision on expansion would need the approval of the CFP's presidential oversight committee after a recommendation by commissioners.
The playoff semifinals are scheduled for Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The national championship game is set for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The Pac-12 postponed its fall football season on Aug. 11, but changed course last week and decided to have a seven-game season starting Nov. 7.
The Big Ten also decided to conduct a fall season after initially postponing and have set plans to have its teams play as many as nine games, starting Oct. 24.
The Mid-American Athletic Conference (six games) and Mountain West (eight games) are also starting late.
The Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 are already up and running among the Power Five leagues. The SEC is planning to play a 10-game regular season, all in conference. The Big 12 has a 10-game regular season schedule, with one home nonconference game for each team. ACC teams have an 11-game, regular-season schedule with one home nonconference game.
Outside the Power Five, the American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt and Conference USA have permitted their schools to play up to 12 total games.
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