A proposal of a 14-team College Football Playoff starting in the 2026 season was discussed at CFP meetings in Dallas on Wednesday, just months before the start of the first season with a 12-team playoff is set to begin, according to ESPN's Pete Thamel:

“Talk of a 14-team playoff starting in 2026 was the buzz of CFP meetings on Thursday. The model and different options were heavily discussed, per sources, and official left the room with a sense of momentum and optimism.”

The CFP management committee, which is made up of the commissioners and incoming Notre Dame athletic director Pete Bevacqua, met on Wednesday and discussed potentially expanding the playoff field after the current contract runs out following the 2025 season.

ESPN and the College Football Playoff are in agreement on a six-year, $7.8 billion extension that will make the network the home of the tournament through the 2031-32 season.

The full contract’s completion is still contingent on CFP leaders finalizing details of the expanded format in the wake of the implosion of the Pac-12. The CFP’s management committee and board of managers have meetings scheduled for next week and continue to work through the complicated process of settling their outstanding issues. The ESPN deal will not be ratified until the commissioners and presidents vote on the structure and financials of the expanded CFP.

The $1.3 billion per year deal is a huge increase in value over the current College Football Playoff deal, which has two years remaining at an average payment of $608 million per year.