How newly proposed 12-team College Football Playoff would work

College Football Playoff expansion talk continues to escalate at a rapid pace.

A proposal that would expand the playoff from four to 12 teams will be presented to the league commissioners. The Athletic first reported the news Thursday, and it comes two days after a Yahoo Sports report that a 12-team model was being considered. 

The management committee will meet in Chicago on June 17-18. The 12-team model is somewhat unexpected given that most playoff expansion hypotheticals revolve around eight-team formats. 

An official announcement is expected Thursday afternoon. 

How would the new 12-team format work? 

According to, the 12-team bracket would “include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six remaining highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP selection committee.”

That is a departure from most standard College Football Playoff plans that would give automatic berths to the champions of the five Power 5 conferences.

There are some other quirks in the proposal that would generate interest:

How would that have looked in 2020? 

Sporting News outlined what a 12-team CFP would have liked like in 2020, but this would have changed that outlook. Coastal Carolina, which finished No. 12 in the CFP rankings last year, would have qualified as the sixth-highest ranked champion instead of Oregon, which won the Pac-12 but finished No. 25. 

So the playoff field would have been: 

12-team CFP vs. four-team CFP

Under this format, there would have been four SEC teams last year. There would also have been two Group of 5 champions, which is notable because a Group of 5 team has yet to make the CFP in its seven-year existence. 

*Denotes CFP team in four-team format

Which one do you like better? 

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