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The College Football Playoff Board of Managers approved a feasibility study of moving the CFP field to 12 teams on Tuesday, heading toward an expansion.
CFP Board of Managers chairman Mark Keenum, who is also the president of Mississippi State, said the four-team playoff has been successful but that it is the board’s responsibility to explore options to make it “even better by increasing the number of schools that participate in it.”
“Having heard the presentation made today by the working group, along with the management committee that joined us for today’s meeting, the board has authorized the management committee to begin a summer review phase that will engage other important voices in this matter,” Keenum said. “These include many people on our campuses, such as student-athletes, athletics directors, faculty athletics representatives, coaches, and university presidents and chancellors. Their opinions are important, and we want to hear them.”
Keenum said the CFP has relationships with bowl committees and will want to consult their broadcast partners to explore the feasibility of the 12-team proposal as well.
“This too will happen during this summer study period. Having given the management committee the charge to look into expansion, it is our duty to take their good work and ascertain whether it is feasible based on the feedback we receive,” he said. “I caution observers of our process not to rush to conclusions about what this board may decide.”
He said the working group has presented a thorough and thoughtful proposal but that there is still more work to do, including more listening and more information needed before they can make a decision.
“We look forward to hearing more and learning more in time for our next meeting in September,” Keenum said.
Moving to 12 would triple the field from the current four teams that have competed for the national championship since the CFP started in 2014, CBS Sports reports.
Media rights sources have valued a 12-team playoff at approximately $1 billion per year. The current contract between the CFP and ESPN averages $600 million annually over 12 years through 2025.
The stamp for further evaluation was expected after the model created by the CFP working group was presented last week to the CFP Management Committee, which includes 10 FBS commissioners plus Notre Dame’s athletic director.