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Jul 12, 2023Jul 12, 2023

The Pac-12’s uncertain future “delayed any significant decisions or discussion” at yesterday’s meeting of CFP leaders, according to Ross Dellenger of YAHOO SPORTS. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said they “have to have some clarity.” Sankey: “You’ve got to consider circumstances have changed. I want to see what the circumstances are at some point.” Dellenger noted though decisions “were not made, there exists alignment in a possible format change to the expanded playoff: the 5+7 model.” In this scenario, the 2024 and 2025 expanded playoffs “will remain a 12-team event.” Instead of six automatic qualifying spots for the six highest-ranked conference champions, “there would be five.” Instead of six at-large berths for the next six highest-ranked teams, “there would be seven at-large berths.” Such a model preserves “at least one spot for a Group of Five champion.” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said, “It’s important that is continued as we move forward.” Dellenger noted any format change “was only briefly discussed during meetings.” This was a previously scheduled gathering -- “slated well before the current realignment wave began” -- in which commissioners “were expected to finalize details of the 2024 and 2025 expanded postseason” (YAHOO SPORTS, 8/30).

MAKING SOME PROGRESS: SI’s Richard Johnson noted “significant progress” was made on the original agenda, including $3,000 travel stipends for the families of up to 125 players’ families per team per round when the playoff expands, and settling on a company to help the CFP manage hotel accommodations. The group has also “begun the conversation” around site selection for future title games beyond 2024 (Atlanta) and 2025 (Miami), the “first repeat hosts in CFP history.” Las Vegas is “expected to receive significant consideration” now that a championship game date later in the month of January “would avoid the Consumer Electronic Show convention typically in the first week of January.” CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock said that it was “unlikely that the CFP will have more than two TV partners for the last two years of the current contract.” ESPN owns the rights to broadcast the quarterfinals and it is “unclear whether there will be multiple network partners or just ESPN moving forward to handle the added first-round games coming in 2024 and ‘25.” Hancock said that he “doesn’t get the sense a full-on NFL wild-card weekend setup of four games on four different networks would have much traction” (SI, 8/30).

LONG TIME NO SEE:’s Heather Dinich noted yesterday was the first time Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff “was in the same room with his peers” since Oregon and Washington decided to join USC and UCLA in the Big Ten, and Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado chose to join the Big 12. Kliavkoff “has not spoken publicly since.” ACC commissioner Jim Phillips “was expected to join them in person” but had travel issues caused by Hurricane Idalia. He participated in the five-hour meeting by videoconference. Kliavkoff smiled and said that “‘it was good’ to be in the room again with everybody” and “nice to focus on everything in the future” (, 8/30).

The Kingdom's big push into MMA and PFL and what it means; Lessons learned in Lincoln? And here's to one fun, clever NFL ad we'll see a lot this season.

SBJ I Factor presented by Allied Sports — Michael Goldstein SBJ I Factor presented by Allied Sports features an interview with Michael Goldstein, founder of SES Insights and a member of Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class of 2019. Goldstein talks with SBJ’s Ross Nethery about how he transitioned from ESPN to Mastercard to now starting up his own marketing and sponsorship company. Goldstein also shares how testing out new waters has benefited him throughout his career and personal life. SBJ I Factor is a monthly podcast offering interviews with sports executives who have been recipients of one of the magazine’s awards, such as Forty Under 40, Game Changers and others.

Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas on Friday night will play host to the return of SlamBall, and league co-founder Mike Tollin credits an organic groundswell among fans as a key impetus in bringing the sport back to life in the U.S. Tollin, who also serves as Mandalay Sports Media co-chair, spoke with SBJ’s Austin Karp about the relationship with broadcast partner ESPN, how the funding efforts exceeded expectations, as well as the potential roles both sports wagering and social media could play.

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College Football PreviewMAKING SOME PROGRESSLONG TIME NO SEEDecrease of neutral-site non-conference CFB games continues AAC boss ready with contingency if SMU bolts for ACCSPONSORED CONTENTADDITIONAL SECTIONSPODCASTSSBJ TV