Reports: CFP reconsiders automatic byes amid possible 14-team Playoff

There may be no automatic byes in a possible 14-team College Football Playoff, according to multiple reports.

According to Heather Dinich of ESPN, talk surrounding automatic byes and “the proposed idea of the SEC and Big Ten champions receiving guaranteed byes is starting to lose some steam among conference commissioners following public backlash.”

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The CFP approved the 5-7 format for the 12-team Playoff in February, and it calls for the four highest ranked conference champions to receive first round byes into the quarterfinals.

But even CFP leaders are looking ahead to their future after the 2025 season, which is when the CFP’s current television contract is up after the first two years of a 12-team Playoff. The CFP management committee discussed a 14-team Playoff format during a February meeting in Dallas.

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Any details regarding a 14-team Playoff is “likely” to not be determined until the CFP figures out its next TV contract, according to ESPN.

According to ESPN, revenue “will continue to tilt toward the Big Ten and SEC in the next TV contract,” but the CFP must figure out how that deal will get done and then address scenarios pertaining to the Playoff during the 2026 season.

The CFP has a full plate of areas to address on its hands. From a new television contract to the first year of an expanded Playoff to possibilities beyond 2026, leaders must take charge with intent and care.