According to ESPN, a copy of this letter was obtained by ESPN Thursday. It is stated that Bowl Season executives responsible for the operation of 43 postseason games wrote to hundreds of college football leaders asking that any future College Football Playoff games under potential expansion models be played at bowl sites.
In anticipation of CFP management committee meetings in Dallas next week, the letter was written by Nick Carparelli, executive director of Bowl Season, and Mark Neville, chairman. The purpose of the letter is to continue discussions on expanding the playoff beyond its current four-team format. This is the first time Bowl Season officials have publicly participated in the expansion conversation and pushed for their venues.
The letter stated that any plan to expand the playoff should include all playoff matches being played within the traditional Bowl structure and not at the home of any of the participating teams. The Bowls would provide an equal, neutral and competitively fair venue for these games just as they have in their history. Excluding Bowl games from an expanded playoff would be detrimental to Bowl Season, individual Bowls, their host communities and post-season college football overall.
The management committee is composed of the 10 FBS commissioners as well as Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame athletic director. They have been focusing on a 12-team format, but have yet to come to a consensus on a plan that they will present to the CFP's board for a vote.
The 12 team model currently being considered would include the six highest-ranked conference winners and the next six highest ranked teams. The four most highly-ranked conference champions will be given first-round byes. Eight other teams will play on the campus with the higher seed.
ESPN reported that Carparelli said the letter was addressed to 403 people, including 131 presidents and chancellors as well as 131 athletic directors and 131 head coaches. The letter also included 10 FBS commissioners. Carparelli stated that the letter was sent to remind them of the importance of Bowl Season in the history and to request that they have a seat at FBS's table to discuss the future.
Carparelli stated that "we know that the commissioners will make these final decisions and that we would never interfere on that." We see postseason college football having two parts: the playoff component, and the bowl season. Both are equally important and work in many ways together. We think we can add value to the discussion and possibly come up with solutions the commissioners wouldn't have thought of or that the bowl system could handle.