College Football Playoff Likely Expanding To 12 Teams

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Big 12 College Football
Detail view of Big 12 logo as the Baylor Bears band plays on the field before Baylor plays the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Football Championship at AT&T Stadium on December 7, 2019 in Arlington, Texas.

The College Football Playoff could triple in size amid plans for expansion. A new proposal laid out plans for a 12-team postseason, adding two additional rounds to the current four-team format. 

A subcommittee made up of Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick created the proposal. It will be reviewed by the College Football Playoff management committee next week in Chicago.

Under the proposed 12-team playoff, the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked teams that didn’t win a conference title would make the CFP. The top-four conference champions would receive a bye to the second round. The remaining eight teams would play four opening-round games with the higher seed hosting each contest in its own venue.

The four teams that win in the first round move on to the eight-team quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, semifinals and CFP national championship game would all be played at a neutral site.

The rules don’t limit the number of teams that any one conference can have in the playoff field.

 

 

 

The 12-team playoff won’t become official until September, at the earliest. It’s widely expected to be approved.

“I think it’s hard to attack it,” American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told ESPN. “I think it’s a well-thought-out plan. I really like the equalization concept, that all FBS have a shot. ... I don’t think in that sense it has any flaws or weaknesses that would come to mind.”

The four-team playoff is expected to remain in place for both the 2021 and 2022 college football seasons. The 12-team CFP could be enacted as soon as 2023, according to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy.


Big 12 College Football

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

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