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College Football Playoff could expand to 12 teams

Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith catches a 42-yard touchdown behind Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Jan. 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Ncaa Football Cfp National Championship Ohio State Vs Alabama
Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith catches a 42-yard touchdown behind Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Jan. 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Fla. Ncaa Football Cfp National Championship Ohio State Vs Alabama

The College Football Playoff could expand from four teams to 12 over an eight-team system, Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday, citing influential stakeholders.

Expanding the playoff will be the topic of discussion next month in Chicago when a working group evaluating the topic presents its finding to a committee of influential administrators.

In concept, a 12-team playoff likely would include automatic bids for the Power Five conferences, plus the highest-ranked Group of Five teams. The other spots would be filled by at-large teams.

Under the current four-game system, all participants are selected on an at-large basis.

The CFP has been in effect since after the 2014 season, and only 11 teams have appeared in the seven years: Alabama (six times), Clemson (six), Ohio State (four), Oklahoma (four), Notre Dame (two) and one each for LSU, Georgia, Washington, Michigan State, Oregon and Florida State.

The working group will outline the options to the management committee — composed of conference commissioners Greg Sankey (SEC), Bob Bowlsby (Big 12) and Craig Thompson (Mountain West), and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick — in meetings July 16 and 17. The following week, the larger College Football Playoff board of managers will receive the group’s findings and is expected to make a decision on future playoffs, per the report.

A new CFP system would not be implemented before the 2023 season.

In the meantime, much remains to be worked out, including television contracts and how the existing bowl games would figure into the expanded playoff.

–Field Level Media