Reports: CFP deal extended through 2031 by conference commissioners, Notre Dame

The uncertainty is now certain: the College Football Playoff will reportedly continue through 2031.

According to multiple reports, nine Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame agreed and signed to a six-year contract establishing a revenue distribution plan and path toward new television deal keeping the CFP in place for the next seven years.

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According to Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press, the Pac-12 didn’t sign “because of its uncertainty beyond 2025.”

The new six-year agreement “doesn’t lock in a format for the CFP for 2026 and beyond, but it guarantees at least a 12-team field and five conferences having annual access to the playoff through 2031,” according to the AP.

According to the AP, “the plan for 2026” is to have the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences all receive automatic bids into the Playoff. The fifth automatic bid will come from the Group of 5 among the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Mountain West.

According to Heather Dinich and Pete Thamel of ESPN, under the new financial distribution model, the Big Ten and SEC “will be making more than $21 million per school,” ACC schools “will get more than $13 million annually,” the Big 12 “will get more than $12 million per school” and Notre Dame “is expected to get more than $12 million as well.”

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Among the next steps for the CFP include finishing its new television contract, which will reportedly be with ESPN.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said there “isn’t a timetable” for the Playoff to secure its next TV deal, according to ESPN.

The CFP already confirmed the 5-7 format for the 12-team Playoff beginning in 2024. They moved away from the original 6-6 plan and kept the first round bye for the top four seeds.

The prospect of a 14-team Playoff remains a possibility. The CFP has already discussed expanding the field again following two seasons of the newly expanded format in 2026.

According to the AP, the new agreement extending the CFP provides “a look-in by 2028” serving the purpose “that could provide an opportunity to make adjustments.”