Momentum to expand the College Football Playoff is building, and a 12-team format is currently the most likely outcome, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.
With meetings to decide the future of the CFP format scheduled for July, multiple sources, including university officials and athletic directors, told Thamel that a 12-team model is favored over an eight-team format.
"The reason that you go to 12 is because you can develop the road of least resistance toward a good result," one high-ranking official told Thamel.
The CFP has been a four-team tournament since its inception in 2014. But expansion talks have been ongoing for the past two years.
A team that has been researching options for playoff expansion will report its findings to the CFP management committee July 17-18, according to Thamel. The committee is reportedly expected to make an official expansion recommendation the following week.
A 12-team model would reportedly include automatic bids for the five major conferences and one for the top-ranked Group of Five champion. The other six participants would reportedly be determined through at-large bids.
An exact format has not yet been developed, notes Thamel. But the current proposal would reportedly see the top four teams receive byes, while teams seeded No. 5 to No. 8 would host teams ranked No. 9 through No. 12 in the first round of tournament play.
"I do believe they've looked at all kinds of different things," a source told Thamel. "But I haven't even heard an Option B discussed in any detail."
The CFP management committee announced in April that it discussed "some 63 possibilities" for a playoff expansion, including six-, eight-, 10-, 12-, and 16-team models.
CFP executive director Bill Hancock said at the time that the playoff field is not expected to expand until after the 2025 season.