College Football Playoff Board to Vote on Format for 12-Team System
Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 14, 2024

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 08: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines lifts the National Championship trophy during the Michigan Wolverines versus the Washington Huskies CFP National Championship game on January 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The College Football Playoff is moving to a 12-team field in 2024, but the format for choosing those schools has not yet been decided. However, the CFP Board of Managers is now taking a pivotal step toward making that choice.

Per ESPN’s Heather Dinich, that group is expected to vote Feb. 20 on the 5+7 model, which would include the five highest-ranked conference champions as well as the next seven highest-ranked teams.

The CFP was originally going to roll with a 6+6 format, meaning one more conference champion and one fewer at-large team. However, with the Pac-12 dropping to two teams, the Power Five is now turning into a Power Four, leading to a 5+7 conversation.

The virtual meeting needs a unanimous vote from the Board of Managers, per Dinich.

That board consists of 11 presidents or chancellors representing 10 conferences (American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeastern and Sun Belt) as well as a football independent in Notre Dame.

Dinich previously reported earlier in February that there is “unanimous support” for the 5+7 model aside from the Pac-12.

That conference is currently at two teams in Washington State and Oregon State after 10 teams left the league for other Power Five schools. The Pac-12 has a two-year grace period to meet the FBS minimum of eight teams.

Washington State president Kirk Schulz represents the Pac-12 on the board. Per Dinich, the conference has been “asking for time to sort through its legal issues and discuss future CFP revenue with the board.”

However, it’s clear the board wants to move forward.

“I believe there’s a sense of, ‘We’re hearing you guys out like you asked for, the legal stuff has been largely settled in the Pac-12 Conference. It’s time to move forward,'” Schulz told Dinich.

Yet the 5+7 helps WSU and OSU, since it gives out one more at-large bid that either team can take.

“If you look ahead, clearly more at-large bids are going to be advantageous to the Pac-12 given that we no longer have status as an automatic qualifier,” Schulz said, per Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports.

“In the long run, that’s where we need to be. No doubt in our minds that, if you look at what’s best for our schools, the 5+7 and more at-large spots is clearly going to be better for the Pac-12.”

CFP Board of Managers chairman Mark Keenum previously also said in January, per Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press: “I’d be shocked if we weren’t a 5-7 playoff for this coming football season.”

While it’s unofficial, it seems like full speed ahead for the 5+7, which is no surprise at this point.

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