The conference commissioners who manage the College Football Playoff have decided to stick with a four-team format during the pandemic-altered season after the Pac-12 made a request to consider expansion.
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott asked the rest of management committee to consider having eight teams play for the national championship this season. ESPN first reported Scott broaching the subject.
The request was made because of disruptions to the season caused by the pandemic. Conferences are not playing the same number of games, are starting play at different times and there are no interconference matchups between Power Five leagues.
Hancock said the committee, with 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, had a “civil and thoughtful discussion.”
The playoff semifinals are scheduled for Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The national championship game is set for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Scott declined a request for comment through a Pac-12 spokesman.
Pac-12 unveils new testing partnership: The Pac-12 announced a new partnership with Fulgent Genetics to provide supplemental COVID-19 testing that will enhance its existing testing structure and help keep athletes from spreading the disease.
As part of the agreement, Fulgent will provide reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing – widely considered the gold standard in testing for COVID-19 – to every athletic department within the conference. The Pac-12 previously had announced a partnership with Quidel Corp. to acquire rapid testing for each of its athletic departments, prompting conference officials to reboot a fall sports season that had been put on hold.
Pac-12 football teams are slated to start the season the weekend of Nov. 6, with the full schedule expected to be released later this week.
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