A 12-team playoff featuring the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids could be on the horizon.
The College Football Playoff committee is recommending expansion to a 12-team field, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde.
The potential expanded field would feature the six highest-ranked conference champions as well as six at-large bids, per Dellenger and Forde. The four highest-ranked conference champions would receive a first-round bye, leaving the remaining eight teams to play in the opening round.
There has been considerable discussion of potential playoff expansion over the last two years, though reaching an agreement among an 11-person committee has proven difficult. The CFP board of managers is comprised of 11 presidents and chancellors from the 10 FBS conferences, as well as Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.
A 12-team field could help quell complaints from Group of 5 schools such as UCF, who have thus far been left out of the playoff each year since 2015. An eight-team field has also been discussed, though such a proposal would limit the at-large bids available if non-Power 5 schools automatically qualified for the playoff.
A four-member committee tasked with exploring expansion will present its findings to the CFP committee in July. As of Thursday afternoon, there is no target date for beginning the expanded playoff.