The Rose Bowl is one of the iconic bowl games in college football. In fact, it’s the iconic college bowl game, so it would make sense that Pasadena, Calif. would play host to future College Football Playoff games, right?
It does make sense, according to CFP leadership, but the Rose Bowl’s spot in the soon-to-be expanded College Football Playoff is in no way guaranteed.
In fact, the CFP has issued the Rose Bowl an ultimatum and could ultimately move on without “The Granddaddy of Them All”.
ESPN is reporting that the CFP has given the Rose Bowl a deadline of Wednesday to determine whether it wants to be part of the New Year’s Six bowl rotation in this next contract.
The reason for the rush? The CFP is wanting to expand by 2024. If it can’t, ESPN reports that roughly $450M in potential revenue would be lost.
The Rose Bowl has to determine what it’s comfortable giving up and what it needs to keep in order to be a part of this new deal with the expanded CFP. The chair of the Rose Bowl management committee, Laura Farber, had apparently told ESPN that the bowl wants to “maintain the exclusive broadcast window on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. PT in years that it would also host a CFP semifinal.”
The other of the Rose Bowl being a CFP destination would also be a severing of the relationship between the Big Ten and Pac-12, its two tie-in conferences.
ESPN reports that the Rose Bowl will “temporarily concede” that partnership in order to host a quarterfinal game in 2024 and 2025, but the bowl is looking for a new contract with long-term assurances. The Rose Bowl’s current contract is done after the 2025 season.
“For the CFP to expand during this current contract, everyone involved — including all New Year’s Six bowl games, the CFP and ESPN as its exclusive rights holder — have to unanimously agree,” Heather Dinich wrote. “Multiple sources told ESPN the calendar had been determined — the presidents and chancellors met Nov. 16 and figured out the revenue distribution, according to one source. The last piece of the puzzle was the Rose Bowl. When the next contract is negotiated, it doesn’t have to be unanimous — making it much easier to move on without the Rose Bowl and/or the Big Ten and Pac-12 votes.”