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Report: When New College Football Playoff Format Would Start

A general view during the first quarter of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium.

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: A general view during the first quarter of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

This afternoon, the College Football Playoff working group drafted a proposal to expand the playoff to 12 teams some time in the future.

Since the CFP became a reality in 2014, it has been a four-team tournament. Expansion was always expected though, and now we have an idea of what it will look like.

As for when such a change will go into effect, we also have a general sense of that, thanks to new reports.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock told reporters today that the four-team format won't be altered this season or in 2022, so 2023 is the earliest date to keep an eye on.

Under the group's reported proposal, the 12-team field would consist of the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams. Theoretically, this should open the field up to teams outside the Power 5.

The four highest-ranked conference champions will receive byes, with the other eight teams competing in opening round games. Because a team will have to win a conference in order to be eligible for a bye, this leaves Notre Dame getting the shaft unless they finally give up their independence.

Of course, on the flip side, the expanded playoff theoretically helps the Irish have a better chance of qualifying for the field.

All in all, this format isn't perfect, but it seems like an improvement on what we've had the last seven seasons.