Good news could be coming for advocates of an expanded College Football Playoff — like, perhaps, members of the Pac-12 Conference.
According to multiple national reports, the CFP working group is set to recommend a 12-team playoff featuring the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams. The four highest-ranked champions would get a bye while the other eight player first-round games at campus sites. The quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in bowl games.
Nicole Auerbach, of The Athletic, reports that no potential change to the current four-team playoff model will take effect this year or next.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported earlier this week that this was the likely route expansion talks would go. He explained the process as follows:
Officials familiar with the CFP process stress that an entire process still needs to play out. The first step will come in Chicago on July 17 and 18 when the four-member working group, tasked for nearly the past two years with exploring expansion, reports its findings to the CFP management committee. The four-member working group will present the finding to a group made up of SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson.
The two days of discussion by the management committee are expected to yield a singular recommendation for the following week. That’s when the CFP board of managers, a group of 11 presidents and chancellors from the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame, will examine what’s put forward and likely determine the potential shape — although not the final details — of the playoff’s future.
Meanwhile, here are the reports that have come out Thursday:
Since the four-team CFP went into effect in 2014, the Pac-12 has been represented only twice — by Oregon the first year and Washington after the 2016 season.
If the 12-team playoff proposal is adopted, it would clear the path for the conference to represented annually and would raise the stakes of the Pac-12 championship game significantly.