The next version of the College Football Playoff is expected to include 12 teams, according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.
The CFP has included just four teams each year since the inaugural playoff in January 2015. But a 12-team playoff is now viewed as "the most likely result," per Thamel.
A four-member committee tasked with exploring expansion will present its findings to the CFP committee in July. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick are among those who will review the four-member committee's findings.
The CFP board of managers–comprises 11 presidents and chancellors from the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame–will then meet to further discuss the playoff's future.
A 12-team playoff could satisfy complaints regarding the continued exclusion of Group of 5 schools such as UCF. In a 12-team system, automatic bids would go to the winners of the five power conferences, plus one of the Group of 5 champions. The other six spots would then be at-large bids, per Thamel.
Playoff expansion talks have been in the works for more than two years, though coming to an agreement with such a large committee has proven challenging. ACC commissioner Jim Phillips noted his skepticism on a new format on May 3, telling Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger it is “premature” to assume the playoff will expand.
“There are 11 signatories to the [CFP] contract and everyone has to agree,” Bowlsby told Dellenger. “Reaching any unanimity with that many people with stakes in the game, it’s complex.”
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