The first official step was taken last week when college football unveiled an expanded 12-team playoff plan.

It will be fine tuned in Chicago this week, tweaked some more in Dallas the following week and then released to the membership for more fine tuning over the summer.

"The earliest, and I repeat that, the earliest that any final decision could be made by the board would be in September,'' said CFP executive director Bill Hancock. ""It certainly could be later, but the earliest is September.

And Hancock, who has guided the college football playoff system from its infancy also has has indicated that the tentative plan is to unveil it for the 2023 regular season.

But make no mistake, changes will be made.

There are already flash points for arguments'

The biggest reason for the push for expansion was the exclusionary factor of the CFP which has created a small circle of teams such as Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma--who have filled the majority of the four playoff spots each year.

"One of the things we were responding to was the concentration that's  occurred,'' said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. ""78 1/2 percent of all the opportunities in the first seven years have gone to fine teams.''

So the system has been opened up, with some restrictions which should guarantee a higher quality of play such as no more automatic  bids for any conference.

Instead, the 6 highest ranked conference champions at the end of the regular season will receive automatic bids and the four highest ranked conference champions will receive a first round bye.

This created a murmur in South Bend because it barred from even an unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Notre Dame from receiving a first round bye because the Irish are not a member of a football conference.

Whether that rule is in the final package is open to debate.

The initial reaction from the college football world is that it allows more opportunities for more teams from the non power conferences and even Power 5 conference runner ups to be part of the playoff system since there will be 6 at-large slots open each year.

On the surface that sounds intriguing, but don't be misled. The Power 5 conferences are still going to walk away from the table with their playoff plates full.

If the 12-team playoff had been in place last season, the Southeastern Conference would have had 4 of the 12 teams in the pairings.

If had been in place the last 3 seasons, the Big Ten and SEC would have filled 17 of the 36 available slots.

The bottom line seems clear.

There will be an expanded playoff system which will turn New Year's Day--four quarterfinal round games are tentatively scheduled to be played each year.

That will become the best day each year in college sports.

The college football season will begin in September and end in late January, with the potential of a 17 game schedule for the championship game teams if neither receives a first round bye.

But there is also this.

Don't be the least bit surprised if on the semifinal weekend, we seem some familiar teams playing familiar roles.