College Football Playoff to stay at four teams till 2026

Even before the new College Football Playoff gets off the ground, athletic directors and coaches have called for the field to be expanded beyond four teams.

Not gonna happen, executive director Bill Hancock told USA Today on Friday. At least from its first season in 2014 until 2026.

“Our group made it very clear when they created the playoff last summer that this four-team event is here for 12 years,” Hancock said in an interview with USA Today. “They did that for a reason. They want folks to know that it’s here for 12 years. So get used to it, love it, enjoy it, learn about it, be passionate about it.”

The four-team playoff format to decide the national champion was approved earlier this year. The postseason qualifiers will be determined each year by a committee, which could be similar in makeup to men’s basketball tournament. The selectors are expected to be named by the fall. Conference commissioners have submitted more than 100 candidates.

“We did look through that list, and we did talk about people,” Hancock said. “But we don’t feel a need to really focus in on small number yet. I would add that I don’t think any fan would be surprised by the names that are being discussed. We’re in a good place.”

Hancock insists that the CFP will resist calls to add teams and ignore the lure of additional revenue. Projections already put the expected bonanza at $500 million annually.

“From the start, this was not about the money,” Hancock told USA Today. “Sure there’s more money. There will be more money for everybody in the playoff. It’s a very good thing, obviously. But what this was about was doing what’s best for the game, preserving the regular season, preserving the bowl experience for all athletes in college football, not just the ones in the playoff. That was the central core of all the discussions.”

The current Bowl Championship Series will end after the 2013 season.

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