College Football Playoff expands to 12-team format after committee approval

The College Football Playoff is officially expanded. After years of debates, the College Football Playoff committee has approved a 12-team format for playoff bids. The system will move to a “5+7” model, with five automatic bids from the highest-ranked conference champions and seven at-large spots for the next-highest-ranked teams. The model was voted on in favor of a “6+6” after the near-complete dismantling of the Pac-12 conference. “5+7” won a unanimous 11-0 vote after the Pac-12 delivered some pushback. The Pac-12 initially delayed the vote because it introduced a separate proposal to continue revenue distribution to the remaining schools in the Pac-12: Washington State and Oregon State. While they retain their status as a Power Five conference through 2025, there is no guarantee on payment structure past that point. While the matter remains unsettled, Schultz did not block the expansion proposal. He also stated in an interview with Yahoo Sports that the “5+7” model would be better for the Pac-12 in the long run. In addition, the agreement on a playoff structure also resolves the only thing the six-year contract extension with ESPN. The deal valued at around $1.3 billion annually was tentatively agreed to the week prior, according to The Athletic, with one notable caveat. ESPN would reportedly pull out of the deal if the College Football Playoff were unable to agree to terms on an expansion. Playoff expansion will begin with the 2024 season. The first round of games will be hosted at home sites of the better seed. The following rounds will be slotted into the neutral sites for pre-existing bowl games like the Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl.