Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) celebrates with the CFP National Championship trophy after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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CFP leadership to review proposal for 12-team playoff

A College Football Playoff committee agreed Friday to send a proposal for a 12-team playoff to the full group for discussion.

A group tasked with exploring options to expand the current four-team playoff presented its report to the CFP management committee in a meeting in Chicago. Now, the university presidents and chancellors who oversee the College Football Playoff will review the proposal Tuesday at a conference in Dallas.

Approval won’t be quick. At the meeting next week, the management committee will ask the full board to seek feedback from a variety of groups, including their peers, student-athletes, athletic directors and coaches. A feasibility assessment of the 12-team format also is expected to commence.

“Vetting with everyone on campus will be an important element,” said Bill Hancock, the CFP executive director. “The working group’s proposal was the first step in a long process. It’s important to reach out and listen to a wide variety of people involved in college football.”

The working group’s proposal puts the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP selection committee, in the playoff. There would be no automatic qualifiers, nor a limit on how many teams could represent a conference.

The four highest seeds would get a first-round bye, with the other games pitting No. 5 vs. No. 12, No. 6 vs. No. 11, No. 7 vs. No. 10 and No. 8 vs. No. 9.

The first-round games would be played at the home field of the highest seed, with remaining games on a neutral field.

“This is a very exciting time for college football,” Hancock added. “The working group’s proposal includes many details that must be carefully reviewed and discussed. We look forward to that review.”

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

The existing format will remain for at least the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

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