College Football Playoff To Expand To 12 Teams

By September 2, 2022 (3:52 pm)Football

The College Football Playoff Board Of Managers unanimously elected to expand the CFP to 12 teams on Friday.

As first reported by ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the CFP will expand from its initial four-team model, which it has followed since its inception in 2014, to a 12-team one. Expansion talks had heated up in early 2022, but those efforts fizzled out on Feb. 18 — when the CFP board decided against a 12-team model. Despite the early failed attempts, the CFP Board of Managers – which contains 11 FBS university presidents and chancellors — re-engaged in talks on Friday. The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick are expected to meet next week to iron out the details of expansion.

While there are still plenty of logistical details to figure out, Thamel reported that the expansion will likely not take place until 2026 — when the current contract runs out — but that there is a chance it could still be implemented earlier.

The proposed format will implement a system in which the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams will round out the playoff. The four highest-ranked conference champions will obtain the top four seeds and a first-round bye. During the first round, the higher seeds will host the lower seeds — for example, No. 5 would host No. 12 — in their home stadiums or at another site designated by the home team on either the second or third weekend of December. The four highest ranked teams will be assigned to a New Year’s Six Bowl and will await their opponents based on the results from the first round.

Thamel emphasized that money drove the decision to expand as the CFP felt it was not maximizing its potential profits by operating with only four teams. The CFP’s television contract with ESPN is expected to run out in 2026.

image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print