Tag Archives: teams

AP source: 4 NFL teams remain under 50% vaccinated

Washington, Indianapolis, Arizona and the Los Angeles Chargers had the four lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the league as of Thursday.

Editor’s Note: The video above is from June 2021.

Four NFL teams remain under 50% vaccinated less than two weeks from the start of training camp, a person familiar with the vaccination rates told The Associated Press.

Washington, Indianapolis, Arizona and the Los Angeles Chargers had the four lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the league as of Thursday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because the league hasn’t released the numbers.

Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina and Denver have the highest vaccination rates and are among 10 teams that have achieved at least 85%. About 73% of players have been vaccinated. Teams on the lower end of the vaccination table face potential competitive disadvantages.

The NFL doesn’t plan to cancel any games this season, the person said.

In a memo sent to clubs last week and obtained by the AP on Thursday, the NFL, in conjunction with the NFLPA, updated protocols to allow teams traveling to joint practices to have their daily maximum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals. The traveling party will be either 100 or 140, depending on the club’s vaccination percentage. The club must limit the number of individuals traveling on the team transportation to 85 but may travel additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff up to the applicable daily Tier limits separately to attend the practice.

Also, beginning at the start of training camp, teams will be required to develop a method to visually identify fully vaccinated Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals.

Utilizing color coded wristbands or credentials are recommended but clubs are free to implement other methods.

Last month, the NFL and the players’ union updated protocols to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated players and to encourage others to get the vaccine.

Unvaccinated players must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren’t permitted to use the sauna or steam room and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling. Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions.

[embedded content]

Read more
This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

FIFA 21 Futties Teams return with first batch and more coming soon

The latest EA Sports event has begun with the launch of the official FIFA 21 Futties promo. Having dropped Futties Teams from last year’s event list, the promo has returned with the first batch of players now confirmed.

Putting together the best FUT 21 Cards into a new bundle, the Best of Batch 1 can now be found in-game and includes the following players:

  • N’Golo Kante (What If)
  • Kevin De Bruyne (TOTY)
  • Karim Benzema (Headliners)
  • Mohamed Salah (UCL)
  • Sadio Mane (Freeze)
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Claudio Reyna (Future Stars)
  • Kylian Mbappe (Record Breakers)
  • Harry Kane (Halloween)
  • Ciro Immobile (TOTY Honourable Merit)
  • Luis Suarez (OTW)

This is the first batch made available by EA Sports, with two more batches being planned to drop during the event.

And for those who need a catch up on this year’s event, here’s what FIFA fans can expect over the coming weeks:

“FIFA fans will help decide which popular FUT Player Items will receive Special boosted FUTTIES Winner items.

“For 24 hours on select days during the campaign, players will find a Player Pick pack available in their account upon login. Each Player Pick will showcase Loan versions of 2 FUTTIES Nominees. The player you select will receive your vote.

“The FUTTIES Nominee that receives the most votes will be released via Squad Building Challenge as an upgraded FUTTIES Winner item that week.

And that’s not all, with EA Sports deciding that each weekend will also include FUTTIES Favourite Player SBCs themed around a specific month and a popular FUT Player Item from that period in the cycle.

During FUTTIES, eligible players will have the opportunity to claim reward packs based on their engagement with FUT 21.

FIFA fans will have the entire duration of FUTTIES to login to FUT and claim their first reward packs if they’ve qualified to receive them.

A message from EA Sports adds: “There will be 2 additional opportunities to earn rewards based on how many times you login over the course of the FUT 21 FUTTIES campaign.

“These rewards will be determined based on how many FUT Session Days (Defined as logging in at least once into FIFA Ultimate Team or the FIFA Ultimate Team Companion App during a 24 hour period) you accumulate.”

Read more
This post originally posted here Daily Express

Biden’s Covid surge teams begin rolling out to a hostile heartland

The Biden administration’s coronavirus surge teams have yet to materialize in states across the Midwest and South where the highly contagious Delta variant is leading to a rapid rise in hospitalizations, according to four state health officials and two senior administration officials.

The administration has sent a surge team to Nevada, but multiple local health officials there said they aren’t sure if the federal aid — including help with Covid testing and door-to-door visits to promote vaccines — could help the state respond to the spread of Delta, or whether it would have an immediate and significant impact. Nor had the officials decided whether they need the assistance.

Vaccination rates are stalled throughout the country and remain stubbornly low in Republican strongholds throughout the South and Midwest. That has raised fresh concerns among health officials at all levels that the national vaccine campaign is stalled, increasing the chance that rising infections driven by Delta will prolong the pandemic and threaten the economy. The impacts are likely to hit hardest in undervaccinated states once schools reopen and the weather turns cold in the fall.

States’ ongoing vaccination struggles underscore the challenges facing Biden’s surge teams as they parachute into communities where unvaccinated people are wary of anyone who advocates for Covid shots. The situation also underscores how — almost 18 months into the pandemic — federal and state leaders still struggle to respond in real time to emerging hot spots, often slowed by local politics and logistical hurdles.

“We have heard that FEMA officials will be coming to this area and they are coordinating with the state. Some of them are already helping with epidemiology,” said Fermin Leguen, the district health officer in southern Nevada. “But we are still waiting to hear what more they will be doing on helping with our vaccine campaign.”

A White House official said the administration is working with governors and local public health officials “to ensure that they have the support they need to curb the spread of the virus and increase vaccinations in their state.”

In many instances, the White House and state officials are still sussing out what resources are needed. The president’s call for a “door-to-door” vaccination campaign earlier this month drew swift rebukes from Republican governors, but there are less obtrusive ways the administration can help, the two senior administration officials said.

In recent days FEMA has dispatched dozens of employees to Nevada, where hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last two weeks. Federal personnel will work to expand Covid-19 testing and canvass neighborhoods to talk to the unvaccinated about receiving the shot. The administration also sent 1-2 person teams to a handful of other states in the South and West. Federal officials are helping Illinois, Missouri, Colorado and Arkansas with genomic sequencing and outbreak investigations.

But many other states are in a holding pattern.

“There have been recent discussions between Wyoming pandemic leadership about various federal resources that might be made available to support us here, but no firm plans have been set,” said Kim Deti, a spokesperson for Wyoming’s public health department.

Privately, at least two senior administration officials are skeptical that federal personnel can do much to boost vaccination rates, especially in conservative areas where skepticism of Covid vaccines and government run high. The next few weeks and months of the vaccine push will be slow, those officials said, and should fall largely on political and health leaders trusted by the local community.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has spoken with the White House about getting surge team help, is traveling across the state trying to boost vaccination rates. Arkansas is now giving first doses to less than 17,000 people each week, according to the CDC. Despite the stalled vaccination campaign and a surge in cases spurred by the Delta variant, the state has no plans for a mask mandate or new restrictions on gatherings.

But several other Republican governors are either ignoring vaccination plans or actively undermining the effort.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he opposed any federal officials coming to Missouri to help with the vaccination campaign, while South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster warned state agencies against working with anyone from the White House who is promoting vaccination. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said his state has “no plans to participate in the federal government’s door-to-door initiative,” and the federal government has not offered to do so.

And in Tennessee, the health department this week fired Michelle Fiscus, the state’s top vaccine official, after legislators alleged the department was encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated even without their parents permission.

“The morale amongst my colleagues is really critically low,” she told POLITICO. “We have just come from working 90-hour weeks trying to launch vaccines in our states … and a large number of those who are eligible refused to receive it.”

Read more
This post originally posted here Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Despite inclement weather, search teams are recovering victims more quickly now that the structure itself is no longer a threat

Search teams have been recovering victims more quickly now that a portion of the tower that remained standing was demolished and is no longer a threat to collapse, according to Florida Fire Marshall and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
On Monday, a day after the demolition of the standing portion of Champlain Towers South, the death toll stood at 28. The building partially collapsed on June 24.
By Saturday morning, the toll reached 86 after more victims were recovered from the rubble, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference.
Sixty-two of the 86 victims have been identified and 61 next of kin notified, with 211 people accounted for and 43 others potentially unaccounted for, according to the mayor.
Authorities have been cross referencing names from a list of residents with US Postal Service and driver’s license information, Levine Cava said.
“We can only truly account for a missing person who is deceased once an identification is made,” the mayor said.
Crews at the site paused their work briefly Saturday morning because of lighting, but recovery efforts resumed within an hour, Levine Cava said. The work will continue despite rain that is expected throughout the day.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Chief Alan Cominsky said the timeline for completion of recovery efforts was 14 to 21 days.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said crews removing rubble from the recently demolished section of the building may complete their work “a lot sooner than many expected.”
Burkett described the progress in removing debris as intense, saying “much of the original pile is at ground level or below. “
The city is setting up a fund for downtown businesses affected by recovery efforts, Burkett said.
Patronis said the crews are paying the same attention to the importance of the task.
“One thing I can assure you is the dogs are still on the site. The infrared equipment is still being used. The cameras are still being used. The task forces that are here … are the same level of skills that were here with FEMA task forces,” he said. “They’re all still working. What’s happening right now is no different than five days ago.”
In an interview with CNN, Chief Nichole Notte of the Florida Task Force 2 said there has been an emotional toll for all the workers.
“I feel like I’m physically digging, but I’m also emotionally digging for more strength to continue,” she said.

Focus on the investigation

Meanwhile, officials have turned more of their attention to the investigation and to ensuring other structures in the area are safe.
Experts have already begun their investigation by examining Champlain Towers North, a sister building that is “substantially the same as the building that came down,” Burkett said.
“We have been in there several times now. We have taken out samples. We’ve done the ground-penetrating radar. We’re trying to determine the amount of steel, the thickness of the slabs, so we’re trying to compile all that information and see exactly if there is some indication of weakness,” Burkett told CNN on Friday.
“I talked to the engineer today, and he’s ready to make a determination as soon as he gets results back and let the residents of that building know whether he feels they are safe or not.”
The north towers building was evacuated for safety concerns.
Burkett said he urged other condo board members in the area to inspect their structure.
“We’ve given them a series of boxes to check in order to make sure that their buildings are as safe as they can be, given especially we don’t know why this building fell down,” Burkett said.
Patronis said that he thinks it’s important for investigators to compare North and South Champlain Towers.
“I’ve advised them to pull the minutes of Champlain Towers North board over the last 40 years and compare to the minutes of South and see if both boards have made the same investments over the last 40 years.”

More structural concerns elsewhere

Employees at a local government building have been advised to work from home for safety reasons.
All staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse were directed to immediately begin a work-from-home protocol on Friday following safety concerns revealed in an engineer’s report of the building, according to a statement from local officials.
The report found safety issues with various floors and recommended floors 16 and above be closed to staff while repairs are completed, Levine Cava, Circuit Court Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie and Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin said in a joint statement.
“Following this report, we are taking all necessary precautions and directing all Courthouse staff at 73 W Flagler Street to work from home beginning immediately while the repairs can be completed,” Miami-Dade officials said in the statement. “Over the last year throughout the pandemic all Courthouse staff was already working remotely and only recently returned to the building, and we are moving quickly to re-activate our remote work plan.”
Last week, residents in Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach were also asked to evacuate after a report determined the condo building was structurally and electrically unsafe based on a delinquent recertification report for the almost 50-year-old building, City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III previously said.

How the engineer is examining the building

Allyn Kilsheimer, a structural engineer hired by the town of Surfside to investigate the collapse took CNN on a tour of Champlain Tours North on Friday.
Kilsheimer said his team has been at the north tower for two days, using ground-penetrating radar to check the thickness of the concrete and collecting samples.
Kilsheimer said he has not seen anything that concerns him.
“The thing that I’m looking for is anything that would warn me … to get people out of the building,” he said. “I’ve not seen anything like that at this point in time.”
Other buildings in the area will soon receive letters from the mayor advising them to take the necessary steps to assure residents their buildings are safe, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.
Regardless of the age of the building, the city is recommending the hiring of an engineer to review structural drawings and review basements, as well as a geotechnical engineer to examine the foundation.
“The recommendations are made in an abundance of caution based on the current status of the investigation,” the letter said. “They are intended to serve as an interim methodology to afford residents some peace of mind until the forensic investigation progresses further.”

Inside the England football team’s stay for Euro 2020: And you can visit here too

Guests can choose from 228 contemporary fully air conditioned guest rooms, including 43 executive rooms and 11 suites that all provide 24 hour room service. Each space is fitted with a walk-in shower, bathtub, mini fridge and free wifi with impressive views of the surrounding National Forest. Built in 2012 for £105million the flagship Hilton Hotel is surrounded by 330 acres of parkland and home to The Sir Bobby Robson Ballroom that regularly hosts events and conferences.

With 14 outdoor pitches, an indoor futsal arena and a chance to train with a FA licenced coach, there is no shortage of things related to the beautiful game.

Not only is the hotel accessible to all 28 English national football teams but also to FA Education, providing coaching educational courses aligned to the England DNA philosophy.

Those wanting to train at Olympic level can warm up on the 60 metre running track lanes at the performance centre before stepping into the hydrotherapy’s underwater treadmill.

There is also the option to jump onto a Watt bike in the cardiovascular centre for a full body work out.

Sport aside, the hotel provides plenty of features for those preferring a leisure getaway.

A 17 metre indoor swimming pool is at hand and other luxurious facilities including the ice fountain, steam room, sauna and bubble pool.

Making up the other half of this state of the multimillion getaway, the Health Club and Spa boasts an impressive list of relaxing facilities.

Guests booked in for treatments will be in the hands of highly skilled fitness and spa experts, who exclusively use Elemis products for treatments.

Two dining options are also available onsite, the stylish but relaxing The Crossbar and Lounge serving classic afternoon tea, British dishes and cocktails.

Dining in the elegant restaurant at St. George’s Park also promises a ‘unique experience’ where up to 130 guests can select from a combination of meals, wines and desserts.

Planning a day out offsite has easy pickings with Drayton Manor and Alton Towers theme parks a 40 minute drive away.

Although St. George’s Park is unavailable to the public during Euros 2020, room and spa bookings can now be reserved from July 13 onwards.

To book your stay at the Hilton Hotel at St. George’s Park, click here.

Author: Hannah Hastings
Read more here >>> Daily Express

Houston Texans linebacker Jacob Martin teams with Boots for Troops

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) — We love to see it! Texans linebacker Jacob Martin traded in the pads for golf clubs Monday as he helped raise money for local non-profit, Boots for Troops.

“For those who make the conscious decision to serve our country, I think that takes a lot of strength. I think that tells you a lot about a person. I think it’s important that we honor them not only during the holidays, but every day in every way,” explained Martin.

Martin got involved with Boots for Troops earlier this year. It all came about on social media.

“Funny story, I was sitting at a bar having a drink and I tweeted (Martin) to come out to an event we were having a couple of months ago. I didn’t expect him to answer, but about 30 minutes after I tweeted him, he sent me an inbox message saying he would love to come out. So I was kind of shocked and we fostered our relationship since that first event,” explained Boots for Troops founder Jimmy Rogers.

The local non-profit sends personalized care packages to military members who are deployed. Rogers founded the organization in 2015, when he was serving in the Navy, so he knows firsthand the impact they make.

“Getting a care package or something from home, it can absolutely make a huge impact on their morale, their mental health. It can turn their day around. It kind of gives you that boost to keep going,” said Rogers.

It’s a thoughtful gesture Martin knows will go a long way too. He’s from a military family. His dad served in the Marines and his sister is currently in the Navy.

“It’s more than just a FaceTime. It’s more than just a postcard. Someone was very thoughtful about everything that was placed in the box and I think that is truly amazing,” said Martin.

Boots for Troops has delivered more than 2,500 care packages and raised close to $ 1 million for the cause each year. Now, their team is even stronger with Rogers and Martin working together.

“It’s huge for the organization, but being a sports fan it’s just like a dream come true, to be honest,” said Rogers.

“Did I know football was going to be part of my life? No, but did I know I was going to be able to impact people’s lives? For sure,” said Martin.

To learn more about how you can get involved with Boots for Troops, visit its website.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: KTRK
Read more here >>> ABC13

Warzone World Series Teams, Captains, Twitch Rivals Start Time update

UPDATE: The Warzone World Series kicks off at 10pm BST on Wednesday, June 23, and the Captains have now made their full draft picks. Names for the official World Series Teams can be found in the Twitter embed below.

ORIGINAL: Gamers have been invited to watch the first Warzone World Series unfold via the Twitch Rivals channel, starting on June 23.

Wednesday will see teams of famous COD gamers go head-to-head as part of a prize-winning tournament. The good news is that we already know who will be leading these teams, with the Warzone World Series Captains list featuring the following players:

Nadeshot – Former Call of Duty pro and current Call of Duty League team owner

TimTheTatman – Streamer and leader of the Tatman Army

Swagg – FaZe Clan’s Nuke Squad member.

TheDanDangler – Detroit native and Warzone rising star.

Aydan – The Warzone player with the most prize winnings in the world to date.

It should be noted that Aydan will enter the event with 100 Thieves duo Rhys “Rated” Price and elite Operator and community tournament organizer HusKerrs.

The World Series Captains will be battling it out over a chosen format to grab a slice of the $ 200,000 prize pool, which will be available to the top-performing trios.

An additional $ 100,000 will also be split through Captain Team placements in the Captain’s Cup.

A message from Activision adds: “They will enter this weekend with their own trio and draft out the rest of their Captain’s Team on June 22.

“Who will be picked first is anyone’s guess: from current Call of Duty League pro players, including the incredible T2P duo on Damon “Karma” Barlow’s squad, to other top Warzone competitors and even a professional football player, it’s a stacked draft like never before seen in Warzone.


“Although the draft will set expectations for all 50 trios, they’ll still have to prove themselves across all six games in Verdansk. Will Aydan and his trio trounce not only the other Captain squads but also the rest of the field?

“How will the current Call of Duty League pros fare against some of the best Warzone streamers in North America? And when the dust settles this week, who will step up for Europe at the next event later this summer?”

The full Warzone World Series Team List will be revealed today and it won’t be long before the full competition kicks off.


According to Activision, the Call of Duty Warzone World Series Start Time has been set for 10pm BST on Wednesday, June 23.

For gamers in North America, the Warzone World Series will be kicking off at the earlier time of 2pm PDT.

The tournament has an official end time of 4am BST on Thursday, June 24, so expect plenty of game time to be shown.

Gamers will want to tune into the Twitch Rivals channel to catch all the latest action, although more is being planned.

The World Series of Warzone (WSOW) will be a 4-part series, with two events in NA and two events in EU over approximately a 6-month period.

So even if you miss what happens this week, there should be plenty more action to catch in 2021.

The rules for the Warzone World Series are as follows: Chosen game mode will be Battle Royale Trios (private lobby) with six games played.

Scoring Format – Teams earn points during each game based on placement and kills. Teams are ultimately ranked based on their cumulative score. There will be one Point per Kill during the World Series.

Placement and Kill Multiplier

  • 1st – 2.0x
  • 2-15th – 1.5x
  • 16th+ – 1.0x

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Microsoft Teams is changing how you reply to messages

The chat bubbles feature is expected to start rolling out in mid-July, with the new functionality expected to become available fully by the end of the month. The inbound chat bubbles feature is launching on Windows 10 and macOS, with a release for mobile yet to be confirmed.

The description of the feature on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap says: “Chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation”.

The Teams chat bubble feature was first announced back in July of last year. At the time, Microsoft said: “During meetings, chat has become a lively space for conversation and idea-sharing, and offers an option for people to participate in the discussion without having to jump in verbally. But it can be challenging to pay attention to video feeds, presentations, and chats all at the same time. Currently, Teams users need to manually open a chat window to view the chat screen. Soon, however, chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

More Surgical Teams Using Real-Time 'Digital Playbooks'

More surgeons are using a software solution in the operating room that walks the team through role-specific best practices for a procedure in real time, eliminating inconsistencies that come from varied experience levels and techniques.

The first ‘digital playbook’ for surgeries was developed by Chicago-based ExplORer Surgical as part of a three-part strategy: to reduce inefficiencies, cut costs, and improve outcomes to benefit surgeons and medical device makers.

Also available is remote, two-way, HIPAA-compliant connectivity so that surgeons can watch others doing a procedure in another location or serve as proctors, observing others who are learning a technique they are teaching. A third component of the software is data capture so that surgeons can know, for instance, how long each step of the surgery takes, and how that compares with surgeons nationally.

When comparing data, surgeons may find that some colleagues can consistently complete a certain step in the procedure in half the time as others. That could help them learn new techniques to reduce inefficiencies.

ExplORer data indicate that up to 10% of intraoperative time is spent on preventable delays, a waste consistent across most surgical specialties, Jennifer Fried, MBA, the company’s cofounder and CEO, told Medscape Medical News.

Fried said that hundreds of healthcare providers and industry representatives use the ExplORer platform every month, and customer use is up 250% year over year.

She said that surgery is similar to aviation in the sense of having a takeoff and landing with checklists to complete along the way.

But pilots have instruments, indicators, and traffic controllers that provide constant support, she noted. That kind of support had been missing in the surgical realm.

Two other companies offer digital platforms to support surgeons, Fried said – Proximie and Avail.

While all three companies are focused on connectivity, she says, only ExplORer offers the playbook and data-capture components as well. 

The playbook will help replace some of the workarounds currently in use in operating rooms, such as surgeons putting together a PowerPoint presentation for a particular case or nurses taking notes in a notebook, she said.

ExplORer was founded in research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago. Co-founder Alex Langerman, MD, a head and neck surgeon, and Fried, a healthcare venture capitalist who was doing graduate work at the university, launched the company in 2015 with funding from the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the company developed the commercial product.

ExplORer Surgical partners with medical device manufacturers who then contract with hospitals to install the software.

Fried declined to discuss costs for the software but said travel costs for surgeons have been greatly reduced since they can watch procedures on a screen from their own hospitals.

James Rickert, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Indiana University Health in Bloomington, said his practice does not use these kind of support solutions, though he is familiar with them.

Rickert sees several benefits to ExplORer, among them a more seamless workflow. Having training available benefits both medical device makers and the surgeons, he said. Remote connectivity also saves surgeons from having to take time off work to get trained, perhaps in another city.

However, Rickert says he worries about a few things with such solutions.

One is that speeding up dissemination of instructions on doing a new procedure is not always preferable.

“The best example of that is metal-on-metal hips,” he said. “They were widely in use way before it was understood that they had tons of problems,” he said. “I’m not sure speeding the diffusion of use of a product is always necessarily the best thing.”

He said he also worries that some surgeons may feel emboldened to try an overly complex procedure if they are tele-linked to an expert watching on a screen. Or surgeons may become too reliant on the technological support.

Rickert added that the remote experts are not actually in the operating room and that “a lot of [surgery] is feel and judgment and experience…If there’s a complication you’re still the only guy doing it.”

He said he would like to see peer-reviewed research conducted on whether such solutions truly improve patient outcomes.

Fried is co-founder and CEO of ExplORer. Rickert has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune, Science News, and Nurse.com, and was an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times. Follow her on Twitter at @mfrellick.

This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

College Football Playoff considers expanding from four to 12 teams

The proposed 12-team playoff would not limit how many teams can come from any one conference.

Editor’s note: The attached video is from Jan. 2021

The College Football Playoff announced Thursday it will consider expanding from four to 12 teams to settle the national championship, with six spots reserved for the highest-ranked conference champions and the other six going to at-large selections.

The CFP’s surprising announcement outlined a plan that would triple the number teams that enter the postseason with a chance to win it all.

Even if the format is adopted — no earlier than this fall — there was no indication in the proposal about when an expanded playoff could be in place. The soonest would seem to be for the 2023 season, but it is probably more likely to be after the 2026 season.

A selection committee would still be involved, and the proposed 12-team playoff would not limit how many teams can come from any one conference. The four highest-ranked conference champions would receive first-round byes and teams 5-12 would face each other in four games played on campus sometime during the two-week period following conference championship weekend, typically early December.

The plan calls for no re-seeding of the bracket as teams advance. Quarterfinals would be hosted by bowl games on New Year’s Day —- unless that falls on a Sunday, in which case those games will be played Jan. 2 — and an adjacent day.

The semifinals would also be hosted by bowl games, as is the case now.

The proposal includes no dates for semifinals and the championship game to be played, but did indicate the semifinals would not be played as a doubleheader on a single day.

Currently six bowl games have a three-year rotation for hosting the semifinals and the championship game site is open to bidders, similar to the what the NFL does with the Super Bowl. The current semifinal bowl rotation includes the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton and Peach bowls, not they are not guaranteed to be hosts in the proposed expansion plan.

“The process for selecting the six bowls that would rotate as hosts of the quarterfinals and semifinals (is) still to be determined,” the CFP plan said.

The proposal will be considered by the full CFP management committee in Chicago on June 17-18.

On Thursday, a subcommittee comprised of Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbick presented the proposal to the rest of conference commissioners in a Zoom meeting.

The group has been working on an expansion plan for almost two years and it might have been put forth sooner if not for the pandemic.

“The four-team format has been very popular and is a big success,” the members of the four-person working group said in a statement. “But it’s important that we consider the opportunity for more teams and more student-athletes to participate in the playoff. After reviewing numerous options, we believe this proposal is the best option to increase participation, enhance the regular season and grow the national excitement of college football.”

The full management committee will determine next week whether it will recommend expansion to university presidents who make up the CFP oversight committee. The presidents are scheduled to meet with the management committee in Dallas on June 22.

If the presidents sign off, the next step is determining over the summer whether the plan can be implemented and when. The final approval would likely come in September.

The College Football Playoff is entering year eight of a 12-year agreement with ESPN. The deal doesn’t lock in a format but an assumption has been that any changes would come after that deal expires following the 2025 season.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock has said no changes to the CFP format could be made this season or in 2022.

The four-team playoff was implemented in 2014, a natural progression from the Bowl Championship Series, which matched No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the title game from 1998-2013.

The playoff’s popularity seems to have waned as only a few teams have grabbed the majority of the spots since 2014. Alabama and Clemson have each made the playoff six times in seven years. Ohio State and Oklahoma have each been selected four times. That’s 71% of the playoff spots to just four of the 130 teams that play major college football.

A 12-team field with six spots reserved for conference champions would guarantee at least one team from outside the Power Five conferences would be in the playoff each season. The Group of Five has never had a team crack the field of four or been particularly close.

This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports