The College Football Playoff is reportedly taking a step towards a long-awaited expansion.
According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, college football officials are hoping to finalize a "framework" for an expanded playoff by Wednesday, and they are confident they will come to an agreement during CFP Management Committee meetings this week.
The committee is reportedly scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Chicago to discuss expanding the playoff model from four teams to 12 teams. The committee is made up of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director.
The committee met last week in Dallas to discuss the possibility of expansion, but CFP executive director Bill Hancock released a statement saying there are still "issues to be discussed."
According to Dellenger, the issues include concerns from media rights holders and the ramifications of expanding the playoff to 12 teams instead of eight. Scheduling first-round games will have an impact on the academic calendar, and there is also concern over playing conditions during the winter time.
The recent conference realignment has also raised some issues, namely for the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten. Texas and Oklahoma agreed to join the SEC, and the Big 12 added UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU.
A subgroup of the management committee was formed in June to examine the potential of adding more teams to the playoff.
"The four-team format has been very popular and is a big success," the subgroup stated on June 10. "But it's important that we consider the opportunity for more teams and more student-athletes to participate in the playoff. After reviewing numerous options, we believe this proposal is the best option to increase participation, enhance the regular season and grow the national excitement of college football."
While there is growing optimism that an expansion will be agreed to, there is reportedly no expected timeline as of yet. The CFP's contract with ESPN will expire after the 2025 season.