12-team College Football Playoff expansion model officially proposed to CFP Committee

The sub-committee in charge of researching college football playoff expansion officially proposed a 12-team playoff format on Thursday, the College Football Playoff announced.

The current playoff format is four teams, and has been since its inception in 2014 when the Oregon Ducks reached the national championship game as the second-ranked team, defeating third-ranked Florida State in the semifinal at the Rose Bowl.  Oregon lost to four-seed Ohio State in the national title game.

The College Football Playoff said the proposal Thursday is the first step in a long process, a process that will not conclude before this fall.

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Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP, said, “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. 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.”

The date of implementation of a potential new format was not a part of the working group’s proposal and would be a matter considered if any recommendation is approved by the board of managers. Hancock said the format will not change this year or next year. The current agreements for the four-team CFP extend through the 2025-26 season.

Other elements of the working group’s proposal included the following:

    • While the playoff calendar is still to be worked out, broadly this is the recommendation:


      • First-round games would take place on campus sometime during the two-week period after conference championship games;


      • Quarterfinals would be played on January 1—or January 2 when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday—and on an adjacent day;


      • Semifinals and championship game dates are to be determined; semifinals likely will not be played as a doubleheader.


    • The playoff bracket would follow the rankings, with no modifications made to avoid rematches of teams that may have played during the regular-season or are from the same conference;


    • The bracket would remain in effect throughout the playoff (i.e., no re-seeding);


    • The working group’s charge did not include deciding which bowls might be a part of the CFP in the future; however the group did recommend that if traditional bowls host games, teams would be assigned to their traditional bowls for quarterfinal games with priority going to the higher-seeded team;


  • All 11 games would be under the CFP umbrella, with the administrative specifications and the process for selecting the six bowls that would rotate as hosts of the quarterfinals and semifinals still to be determined.


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