AP source: CFP expansion to 12 teams on table for discussion

Sports

Alabama celebrates after their win against Ohio State in an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Alabama won 52-24. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

IRVING, Texas — The College Football Playoff would expand from four to 12 teams, with six spots reserved for the highest ranked conference champions, under a proposal that will be considered next week by the league commissioners who manage the postseason system.

A 12-team playoff would include the six highest-ranked conference champions in major college football, plus six at-large selections, a person familiar with announcement told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the CFP has not yet released details.

Later on Thursday, College Football Playoff announced online the 12-team format proposal is up for discussion.

“The four-team format has been very popular and is a big success,” the members of the four-person working group said in a statement. “But it’s important that we consider the opportunity for more teams and more student-athletes to participate in the playoff.”

CFP confirmed the proposal called for the bracket to include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the six highest-ranked other teams as determined by the selection committee.

Their website noted that no conference would automatically qualify and there would be no limit on the number of participants from a conference.

The CFP’s surprising disclosure comes a week ahead of the planned presentation by a subgroup of the management committee to the 11-member panel in Chicago on June 17-18.

It’s an important step in a process that has several more to check off before expansion can become a reality.

The management committee must determine next week whether it will recommend expansion to university presidents who make up the CFP oversight committee. The presidents are scheduled to meet with the management committee in Dallas on June 22.

If the presidents sign off, the next step is determining whether the plan can be implemented and when.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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