The College Football Playoff management committee is set to consider expanding to a 12-team format when it meets in Chicago next week.
A copy of the proposal was obtained by ESPN and suggests a bracket that includes the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six remaining highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP selection committee.
This does not mean guaranteed spots for the Power 5 Conferences. But it is likely, barring the unusual season, that the Power 5 conference champions would each have a team in the Playoff.
The proposal was written 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.
The 10 FBS commissioners and Swarbrick must agree on a format when they meet next week for anything to move forward. And nothing can change before the current CFB Playoff contract ends in 2025 unless there is unanimous agreement.
The four highest-ranked conference champions would be seeded 1-4 and receive a first-round bye. Teams 5-12 would play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team. The quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in bowl games, and the national championship game would remain at a neutral site.
If the group agrees on this plan, the next step would be to present it to the 11 presidents and chancellors who make up the CFP’s board of managers at a meeting in Dallas on June 22nd. If the board approves that plan, the commissioners and Swarbrick will spend the summer on the details such as when and where the implementation would take place.
Another meeting is scheduled for September, and any changes to the format would ultimately be made by the presidents and chancellors.
The earliest expansion is expected is for the 2023 college football season.