CFP expansion: WSU’s Schulz could block format changes but willing to negotiate on behalf of ‘Pac-2’

Any changes to the selection process and revenue require unanimous board approval

Washington State president Kirk Schulz expressed willingness to work with his peers on the College Football Playoff’s governing board to identify a “financial arrangement” suitable for the remaining Pac-12 schools in exchange for “a yes vote” on proposed changes to the event on Saturday.

Following the collapse of the Pac-12, which leaves the sport with four power conferences, the CFP’s management committee reportedly recommended two changes to the expanded 12-team playoff, which begins next season:

  • Expand access to five automatic bids and seven at-large bids from the previously approved format (six automatic bids and six at-large bids).
  • To qualify for an automatic berth, a conference must have at least eight members.

The changes proposed by the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, however, must be approved by the CFP’s board of managers, which is made up of university presidents.

A unanimous vote is required, which means that Schulz, as Pac-12 representative on the board, could veto any changes.

“I’ve read what’s in the media, but I haven’t sat down and read the proposal,” Schulz said before the Washington State-Cal game on Saturday.

He planned to meet with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff over the weekend to devise a strategy that would benefit WSU and Oregon State, the Pac-12’s two remaining members as of next summer.

The schools could operate as a two-team conference in 2024-25, the final two years of the CFP’s media contract with ESPN.

“We’ll make a judgement about what we want to do, or if there’s a request to make of our partners in return for a yes vote,” Schulz said in a statement.

“I believe it will happen soon.” There is a strong desire to resolve it before the CFP championship game.”

The Pac-12 receives approximately $75 million per year from the playoff, or approximately $6 million per school.

Despite the collapse, the conference retains its board seat, and the Beavers and Cougars want to keep their revenue shares.

“Financial resources are important,” said Schulz. “We need to define what a Power Five conference is.” There is no NCAA policy.

“And we need to figure out what’s reasonable for the next couple years in terms of a financial arrangement.”

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