Sources say the Central Coordination Committee meeting may speed up the expansion

The College Football Playoff Board of Directors will hold a virtual meeting on Friday that could speed up the expansion of games early in 2024 if the 11 presidents and advisors representing the sport’s most powerful group vote and unanimously approve a format, sources confirmed to ESPN Wednesday.

“There is momentum,” a source familiar with the talks told ESPN. “There is definitely momentum.”

The source indicated that the voter turnout was 50-50. Sports Illustrated first reported the meeting.

CFP CEO Bill Hancock declined to confirm or deny the report. The CFP management committee, made up of 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame sports director Jack Swarbrick, is expected to meet next week to continue its expansion discussions, but members are waiting to hear what the chiefs decide – if any – on Friday.

If there is a move toward an expanded playoff within the current decade, this meeting will give commissioners a chance to delve into the details of the structure the chiefs have put in place.

The CFP is entering the last four years of a 12-year contract with ESPN that expires after the 2025 season. In order to expand before the contract expires, there must be a unanimous decision by the presidents and advisors.

Typically, commissioners are tasked with discovering the model, and if they can agree on it unanimously, they will present it to the board of directors for approval, with the presidents and advisors having ultimate authority over the play-off.

After 10 months of discussions and often tense meetings filled with mistrust that circulated publicly, the commissioners ended the debates by 8-3 votes in February. The Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 all voted against the original 12-team proposal that included the conference’s six highest-ranked champions, as well as the next six highest-ranked teams.

Choosing to stay on four bands for another four years, the 10 FBS Conferences and Notre Dame lost nearly $450 million in potential revenue. Since then, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have expressed public support for the expansion.

In July, at Pac-12 Media Days, Pac-12 Commissioner George Klyavkov told ESPN that he believed it would be possible to change the format before the contract expires.

“We are closer than we have ever been to agreeing to a formula,” he said. “The lack of agreement on form hindered us from doing it quickly, rather than working slowly.

“You said it again when we originally met about this. Once you’ve agreed to a format, you can bring it into the existing contract. If we seem to agree beyond the current contract, why not try to do it faster?”

While there is a feeling that the process is moving too quickly, sources have indicated there are also concerns that it may now be expedited, with many questions remaining unanswered. If the presidents are to vote on some form, there is still debate among the delegates about whether the conference champions should automatically qualify for a place, how the revenue will be distributed and what the bowl system would look like — particularly the Rose Bowl.

U.S. Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said his conference is open to 12 or 16 teams, and that giving all 10 FBS Conference champions automatic bids “would be ideal.”

“This would energize and really help college football get healthier,” Aresco said. “That would make a great championship game this weekend. We think a 16-team playoff is something we should totally think about, and if it includes 10 auto games and six big teams, that would be great for college football.”

Conference reorganization also remains a factor, with sources suggesting that the Big Ten’s expansion beyond the pending additions of USC and UCLA is possible.

The chiefs also met roughly the same earlier this month and briefly discussed the possibility of restructuring how college football is run, with one idea putting FBS under CFP management.

“I think the matter is alive and discussions are continuing, as with the CFP, going forward,” a source said.

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