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14-team format discussed for CFP in 2026

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The College Football Playoff could be expanding yet again soon.

The CFP management committee discussed the idea of a 14-team format Wednesday, according to ESPN's Pete Thamel.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock confirmed the prospect of a 14-team model was discussed, but didn't elaborate further, per Thamel.

"There's work still to be done," Hancock said.

A potential change from 12 to 14 playoff teams would take place in 2026, according to Thamel. The move reportedly isn't imminent.

Adding auto-bids for each conference in the playoffs was also discussed, per Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

In 2022, the College Football Playoff decided to expand to 12 teams for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, a significant increase from four teams. The new format will feature the five highest-ranked conference champions and seven at-large participants. No conference will be guaranteed a berth.

The new 12-team layout was originally slated to be a 6+6 format. However, the CFP board unanimously approved a 5+7 format Tuesday.

ESPN and the College Football Playoff recently agreed to an extension that'll make the network the home of the tournament through the 2031-32 season.

Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama were the top four teams and would've received first-round byes this past season under the new 12-team format. A 14-team playoff field would've also featured Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Missouri, Penn State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, LSU, and Arizona based on the final 2023 College Football Playoff rankings.

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