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College Football Playoff moves toward 12-team field

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Proposal calls for top 6 conference champions plus 6 at-large bids.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Even before the four-team College Football Playoff launched in 2014, critics called for a larger playoff. Today the CFP took a big step toward that, announcing a recommendation from a sub-committee of its management to expand to a 12-team playoff.

In its press release, the CFP said the process to make a decision on the sub-committee’s recommendation won’t finish until this fall.

A 12-team playoff field would include the six highest-ranked conference champions, as well as six at-large selections chosen by the playoff committee. Officially, no conference will receive an automatic bid, but it seems highly unlikely a Big 12 Champion would get left out, as they would need to be ranked outside the top 12 and behind at least two G5 conference champions. Additionally, there is no limit on the number of at-large bids from a conference, so get ready for five SEC teams to make the playoff. Notably, the format guarantees at least one G5 champion would make the playoff field.

A 12-team playoff would result in a four-round bracket, with first-round byes for the top four teams, which must be conference champions. First-round games would be played at the home stadium of the higher-ranked team, while the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals would be played at neutral sites. The press release says the expanded playoff would not feature re-seeding between rounds.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was one of the four members of the sub-committee that created the proposal, along with the SEC’s Greg Sankey, the Mountain West’s Craig Thompson, and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick. The 11-member CFP management committee will review the proposal next week, June 17 and 18, before continuing up the ladder. For what it’s worth, veteran college football reporter Brett McMurphy says it will get approved.

What do you think? Is 12 teams too many?