American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told reporters on Wednesday that he will vote to keep the agreed upon ‘6+6’ model for the expanded 12-team College Football Playoffs.
The ‘6+6’ model gives automatic qualifiers to the six-highest ranked conference champions and at large berths to the next six highest ranked teams. This was a clarification of the comments he made on Tuesday during the first day of CFP meetings in Chicago, where he said he’d support a ‘5+7’ model. Aresco clarified that he’d support the ‘5+7’ in 2026, when the new CFP contract begins.
The format of the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff was agreed upon by conference commissioners in September of 2022, with the idea that the champions of each Power Five conference and the highest ranked Group of Five champion would get automatic entry into the playoff. However, the recent implosion of the Pac-12 has altered that dynamic, leading to these meetings to discuss the playoff format for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The autonomous status of the Pac-12 is still up in the air with Oregon State and Washington State trying to retain the league’s assets and keep it alive. As it would stand, the ‘6+6’ format would allow two G5 champions to participate.