The College Football Playoff just took a big step towards expansion.

The current, four-team format is scheduled to run through the 2025 season but that could change prior to the deal expiring in 2026. Any changes to the College Football Playoff are not expected to take place before the upcoming 2021 season or the following 2022 season.

That being said, the College Football Playoff’s management committee has proposed the following expansion from four teams to 12 teams.

The committee’s suggested format would have the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest-ranked other teams comprise the 12-team Playoff field.

There would be no automatic Playoff bids for conference winners in this scenario.

The four highest-ranked conference champions would receive a bye during the first round of the College Football Playoff. Teams ranked No. 5 – No. 12 would play in the first round of the Playoff on college campuses, with the higher-seeded teams getting to host the Playoff matchups.

Following the first round of Playoff games, the rest of the Playoff would be held at bowl sites.

It’s important to note these recommendations do not mean the Playoff is officially expanding. These recommendations will be taken under consideration with upcoming meetings in Chicago (June 17-18) and Dallas (June 22) before any decisions are made regarding Playoff expansion.

More information regarding the working group’s recommendations:

  1. First-round games would take place on campus sometime during the two-week period after conference championship games;
  2. Quarterfinals would be played on January 1—or January 2 when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday—and on an adjacent day;
  3. Semifinals and championship game dates are to be determined; semifinals likely will not be played as a doubleheader
  • The playoff bracket would follow the rankings, with no modifications made to avoid rematches of teams that may have played during the regular-season or are from the same conference;
  • The bracket would remain in effect throughout the playoff (i.e., no re-seeding);
  • The working group’s charge did not include deciding which bowls might be a part of the CFP in the future; however the group did recommend that if traditional bowls host games, teams would be assigned to their traditional bowls for quarterfinal games with priority going to the higher-seeded team;
  • All 11 games would be under the CFP umbrella, with the administrative specifications and the process for selecting the six bowls that would rotate as hosts of the quarterfinals and semifinals still to be determined.