The college football playoff management committee will consider switching to a 12-team format when it meets in Chicago next week, marking the first step in what could be another historic change for the sport’s playoffs.
The proposal, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, calls for the range to include the six top-ranked conference champions and the remaining six top-ranked teams, as determined by the CFP selection committee.
“No conference would automatically qualify and there would be no limit on the number of participants in a conference,” the proposal says.
The proposal, which was drafted by a subcommittee made up of Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson, is just the first step. of a long process.
The 10 commissioners of FBS and Swarbrick are due to agree on a format when they meet on June 17-18 to discuss the topic in person for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic. While the four members of the working group have spent the last two years researching the possibilities and finally concluding that 12 teams offer the best opportunity, it is possible that the other seven members of the management committee support another format.
Under the proposed 12-team format, the four top-ranked conference champions would be ranked 1-4 and receive a first-round bypass. Teams 5-12 would face off in the first round on the field of the top-ranked team. The quarter-finals and semi-finals would be played in bowls, and the national championship match would remain on a neutral venue.
If the group comes to a consensus, it will present the plan to the 11 presidents and chancellors who make up the CFP board at a meeting in Dallas on June 22. If the board approves the plan, the Commissioners and Swarbrick will use the summer to determine how to implement it – and when.
Another meeting is scheduled for September, and any changes to the format would ultimately be made by presidents and chancellors.
CFP executive director Bill Hancock has said the playoffs will not develop this year or next. The current 12-year agreement runs through the 2025-2026 season.