The College Football Playoff would expand from four to 12 teams, with six spots reserved for the highest ranked conference champions, under a proposal that will be considered next week by the league commissioners who manage the postseason system.

A 12-team playoff would also include six at-large selections and no limit on how many teams can come from any one conference, a person familiar with announcement told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the CFP has not yet released details.

A full announcement was expected later Thursday. Sports Illustrated was first to report a 12-team model was being proposed. The CFP’s surprising disclosure comes a week ahead of a planned presentation to CFP officials in Chicago on June 17-18. It’s an important step in a process that has several more ahead.

The management committee must determine next week whether it will recommend expansion to university presidents who make up the CFP oversight committee. The presidents are scheduled to meet with the management committee in Dallas on June 22. If the presidents sign off, the next step is determining whether the plan can be implemented and when.

The College Football Playoff is entering year eight of a 12-year agreement with ESPN. The deal doesn’t lock in a format but an assumption has been that any changes would come after that deal expires following the 2025 season.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock has said no changes to the CFP format could be made this season or in 2022. The four-team playoff was implemented in 2014, a natural progression from the Bowl Championship Series, which matched No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the title game from 1998-2013.

A VIRGINIA TECH freshman linebacker charged in the fatal beating of a Tinder match has been released on bail.

Isimemen Etute was granted bond Wednesday, news outlets reported. Prosecutors initially filed an expedited appeal that would have kept the 18-year-old from Virginia Beach in jail for up to five more days, but agreed to his release once the two sides settled on conditions.

Etute, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Jerry Smith, was released on $75,000 secured bond under house arrest and electronic monitoring. He was ordered to stay with his parents and keep in contact with his attorney. Etute is on suspension from the school and its football team during the investigation.

SOFTBALL

COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Giselle Juarez threw her second consecutive complete game and Oklahoma won its fifth national championship, beating Florida State 5-1 in Oklahoma City.

The Sooners (56-4) had lacked a dominant pitcher heading into the series, but Juarez allowed just two hits in the decisive Game 3. She went 5-0 at the World Series and was named Most Outstanding Player after allowing four runs in 31 1/3 innings.

Florida State (49-13-1) was seeking its second national championship in the past three World Series.


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