The School Soccer Playoff introduced Thursday it’ll develop to a 12-team occasion beginning in 2024, finishing an 18-month course of that was fraught with delays and disagreements.
The announcement got here a day after the Rose Bowl agreed to amend its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, which was the final hurdle CFP officers wanted cleared to triple the dimensions of what’s now a four-team format.
“I by no means gave up,” CFP Govt Director Invoice Hancock stated.
The primary spherical of the playoff in 2024 will happen on campus websites matching groups seeded 5-12 the week ending Saturday, Dec. 21. Actual dates are nonetheless to be decided.
The quarterfinals and semifinals can be performed within the bowls which were rotating as hosts of the semifinals within the present format: Rose, Sugar, Orange, Peach, Cotton and Fiesta.
“I need to re-emphasize that every one the bowls stepped up, all six,” Hancock stated. “And there’s no secret that we had been all the way down to the ultimate minutes of the fourth quarter. And there was no time beyond regulation. And if we hadn’t reached an settlement, there’s no query in my thoughts that we might have continued the four-ream playoff by means of the ’2024 and ’25 seasons. However we’re right here to rejoice the truth that we did attain an settlement.”
The championship recreation for the 2024 season can be performed Jan. 20, 2025, in Atlanta. The title recreation the subsequent yr can be performed Jan. 19, 2026, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Each are greater than per week later than the present title recreation timing.
Growth is anticipated to supply about $450 million in extra gross income for the conferences and faculties that take part. The School Soccer Playoff’s 12-year contract with ESPN runs by means of the 2025-26 season.
The plan to develop the playoff was unveiled in June 2021, however convention commissioners who handle the CFP couldn’t come to the unanimous consensus wanted to push the proposal ahead. Growth for the 2024 season was pronounced useless again in February.
College presidents and chancellors who oversee the CFP stepped in and revived the method over the summer season. They authorised the unique plan to be used by 2026, and threw it again to the commissioners, directing them to attempt to develop by 2024, if doable.
Now not haggling over the format, the commissioners wanted to work by means of when and the place the video games can be performed and whether or not bowl companions and championship recreation hosts cities may accommodate a change in schedule for 2024 and 2025.
The Rose Bowl situation was the final to be settled, as organizers for the 120-year-old bowl recreation had been hoping to get some assurances from the CFP that they’d hold their precious New 12 months’s Day time when new contracts go into impact in 2026.
CFP officers balked. Going through the potential of being painted as an obstructionist and doubtlessly being shut out of the expanded playoff in the long run, the Rose Bowl agreed to maneuver ahead in good religion.
“It’s our intent to maintain the Rose Bowl recreation on Jan. 1,” stated Laura Farber, chairwoman of the Rose Bowl Administration Committee. “However we’ll stay versatile in scheduling as wanted.”
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