College Football Playoff Approves New 5+7 Model For 12-Team Playoff

By February 20, 2024 (12:08 pm)Football

The College Football Playoff board of managers on Tuesday unanimously approved the new format for the playoff, which will feature the five highest-ranked conference champions and seven at-large bids to the postseason.

The board of managers includes all 10 FBS commissioners as well as Notre Dame president John Jenkins. The vote had to be unanimous to employ the 5+7 model, and had previously been delayed by the Pac-12 before the conference’s representative – Washington State president Kirk Schulz – voted to approve the new format in the most recent vote.

The change in format accounts for the loss of the Pac-12, which is now down to just two members in Oregon State and Washington State. Neither school would have qualified for the College Football Playoff next season as a conference champion, which ESPN said led to the change in voting for the new model.

“This is a very logical adjustment for the College Football Playoff based on the evolution of our conference structures since the board first adopted this new format in September 2022,” said Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State and chair of the CFP board of managers. “I know this change will also be well received by student-athletes, coaches and fans. We all will be pleased to see this new format come to life on the field this postseason.”

The 5+7 model will assure the conference champion from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC receive an automatic bid, with the fifth automatic big going to the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. The seven at-large bids can then go to any FBS team. The four highest-ranked conference champions will each receive a first-round bye, with seed Nos. 5-12 all playing in the first round.

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