April 23, 2021
IRVING, Texas – The College Football Playoff (CFP) management committee met remotely for two days this week.
“It was quite a year,” said Bill Hancock, the Executive Director of the CFP. “Given all the challenges presented by the pandemic, teams were fortunate to have played as many games as they did. It’s a real testament to the student-athletes, commissioners and their staffs, athletics directors, coaches, the schools’ staffs, medical personnel, and, frankly, everyone who loves this game. Satisfaction with the CFP remains high, and we can’t wait for what we hope will be a more typical season this fall.”
Hancock said the CFP intends to return to the traditional pageantry of college football for the CFP games this year. “We are planning to have marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots and the rest of the wonderful traditions at the CFP games. We are optimistic, but, of course, everything will depend on the circumstances this fall.”
Stadium seating capacities, he said, will be determined by CFP in the fall, in conjunction with local health and safety officials.
The management committee, comprising the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and the Notre Dame director of athletics, this week addressed initial planning for the 2022 CFP National Championship, which will be at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“We have seen tremendous energy and enthusiasm in the work of the 2022 CFP – Indianapolis Host Committee,” Hancock said. “Sports fans know about Indianapolis’s compact, walkable downtown, with the major hotels and venues within a short distance of each other. It will be an ideal site for the 2022 championship.”
As a previous host to Big Ten Conference football championship games, 11 NCAA Final Fours (eight men’s and three women’s) and a Super Bowl, Indianapolis is well positioned to be an outstanding host city for the CFP National Championship, Hancock reported to the management committee.
This year’s CFP semifinals will be at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl.
The management committee also heard from athletics directors of the four universities whose teams played in the 2020-21 Playoff Semifinals in the Rose Bowl Game and Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“The athletics directors were very complimentary of the experience, including the focus on health and safety for the student-athletes and coaches during this unusual time,” Hancock said.
Looking back, Hancock praised the Miami Host Committee, Hard Rock Stadium, and the cities of South Florida for staging this year’s game. Greg Byrne and Gene Smith, athletics directors at Alabama and Ohio State, also lauded the Miami hosts.
“COVID-19 didn’t allow the type of weekend atmosphere everyone wanted, but the people in Miami stepped up and provided an excellent event for the players, their families and other fans who did attend.” The seating capacity at Hard Rock Stadium was approximately 14,000.
The management committee also discussed the impressive collaboration among the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl and AT&T Stadium staffs in staging the Rose Bowl semifinal game in Arlington, Texas, with 12 days’ notice.
“The Rose Bowl went off flawlessly as a semifinal thanks to the hard work of both bowl staffs,” Hancock said.
Also, representatives of ESPN also reported about the sports landscape during a year deeply affected by the pandemic.
The management committee also received an update from Britton Banowsky, executive director of the CFP Foundation, the community engagement arm of the CFP that, with the help of its college football partners, has invested more than 47 million dollars to support K-12 educators across the United States since its inception in 2014.
In addition, the committee received a briefing from a working group of four of its members charged with considering options for the future format of the playoff for the management committee’s review.
Hancock said first and foremost, the working group conveyed to the management committee that it continues to support and believe in the four-team playoff as it is currently constituted.
In its analysis, the working group has reviewed some 63 possibilities for change. These included 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- and 16-team options, each with a variety of different scenarios.
The group informed the management committee that it continues its work and anticipates making a report to the management committee about the future format at an upcoming meeting.
“Since January 2019, when the presidents charged us with taking a careful look at all aspects of CFP, including the format, this group has diligently evaluated options for the future. Its efforts were delayed as a result of the pandemic, but it met again this week in Dallas, and we look forward to hearing more when its work is complete.
“I want to remind everyone that whatever recommendations the management committee may make, all decisions about our future format—whether to remain at four teams or change to a different format—will be made by the 11 presidents and chancellors who manage the CFP.
“We are entering the eighth year of our 12-year agreement for the College Football Playoff and the management committee is extremely satisfied with the popularity and success of the CFP,” Hancock said. “It is wise and good management to review where we stand as we discuss what the future might—’might,’ for emphasis–look like.”
About the College Football PlayoffThe College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game. This season’s Playoff Semifinals will take place Friday, December 31, 2021, at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and the Capital One Orange Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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