College Football Playoff working group proposes 12-team expansion

·3 min read

The next step in expansion for the College Football Playoff has officially been announced. Earlier on Thursday, several reports surfaced that the College Football Playoff working group had come to an agreement to support and propose a 12-team expanded playoff, but now, that has been confirmed by the College Football Playoff itself.

“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.”

While this will be seen as positive news by most across the sport, it’s important to remember that this is just a proposal, and that everything still has to be vetted, logistics and exact format hammered out, and finally, a vote to move ahead.

“Now that the working group has presented its proposal, the management committee will solicit input from university presidents, coaches, athletics directors, student-athletes and others,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP said. “That input will help inform what the management committee recommends to the ultimate decision-makers — the presidents and chancellors who serve on the board of managers. I do want to remind you that the final decision will be made by the board of managers, and that decision will not come before this fall.”

So more important notes about the proposal and next steps that you can read here thanks to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.:

  • 2023 would be the earliest we could see the 12-team model.

  • The Championship game would remain at a neutral site.

  • If the bowls are still included, it would be in the quarterfinals traditionally, and then other bowl sites utilized for the semifinals.

  • CFP Management Committee must endorse the format at the meeting set to take place in Chicago on June 17-18.

  • CFP Board of Managers must authorize a feasibility study at June 22 meeting

  • CFP Board of Managers would meet again in September to discuss study results.

  • There will be a rotation of bowls involved in the CFP, much like today.

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Other ideas that have floated around are byes for the top four teams and using the CFP rankings for selection, but all of those details have yet to be finalized.

“This is a very exciting moment for college football,” the working group members said. “We think we can capture what student-athletes and fans love about the game and extend it to more people in more places, while enhancing what’s great about the regular season.”

We’ll obviously have more on this soon, but for now, the inevitable seems to be steaming out of the train station.

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