Calls for the expansion of the College Football Playoff began as soon as it replaced the Bowl Championship Series ahead of the 2014 season. Seven years later, those calls are about to be answered. A College Football Playoff working group on Thursday formally recommended expanding the four-team field to 12 teams.
The 12-team model would invite the top six conference champions and six major teams out into the field. There would be no limit to the number of choices from a conference, and no conference would receive an automatic bid.
In this format, the top four conference champions would win bye in the first round, and the other eight teams would compete in the matches in the first round on campus in the teams ranked No. 5-8. These games would take place in the two weeks following the weekend of the championship.
The quarterfinals are played on bowlsides (games not specified) that take place on January 1 (or January 2 when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday) and an adjacent day. It is not yet decided when the semifinals and the national championship will be played, but the working group proposes that the semifinals not be played as a double head as the current composite.
The playoff bracket does not take into account rematches in the regular season once the teams have been ranked and no place will be taken in the quarter-finals or semi-final round.
The working group’s recommendation will be discussed and examined next week at a previously scheduled meeting of the CFP Management Committee on 17-18. June. The committee consists of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. If proven, it will be sent to the CFP Board of Managers, which holds a meeting on June 22nd. The group consists of presidents and chancellors representing the 10 FBS conferences along with Notre Dame president Pastor John I. Jenkins.
Then, if the board decides that it will move forward with the 12-team model (or any other model it prefers), it will “approve feasibility assessments and potentially discussions with other entities that allow the implementation of any changed format.” The board then met a second time in September to review the results of the surveys and discuss how to move forward.
“The four-team format has been very popular and is a great success,” the four-person CFP working group said in a statement. “But it is important that we consider the possibility of more teams and more student-athletes to participate in the playoffs. After reviewing several options, we believe that this proposal is the best opportunity to increase participation, improve the regular season. and increase the national excitement of college football … This is a very exciting moment for college football.We think we can see what student-athletes and fans love about the game and expand it to more people in more places, while we enhances what’s great about the regular season. “
There are five years left of the current CFP contract with ESPN. It is not known when Thursday’s recommendation, if formally proven, will take effect.
The current four-team model uses a 13-member CFP selection committee consisting of athletic directors, former coaches and other prominent industry names. This committee creates a set of top 25 rankings weekly in the final half of the season that frog the top four teams. Four different programs have won the Common Fisheries Policy since its inception – Ohio State (2014), Alabama (2015, 2017, 2020), Clemson (2016, 2018) and LSU (2019).
The Common Fisheries Policy replaced the BCS, which existed from 1998-2013. This format limited the meaningful mail season to the top two teams in classification determined by a combination of computers and polls.
Details of the CFP Working Group Recommendation were first reported by Yahoo Sports and confirmed by CBS Sports.