Is A 12-Team College Football Playoff Becoming A Reality?
A guaranteed Group of Five spot
Expansion is coming
The College Football Playoff is going to expand sooner than later. The latest about increasing the current four-team field has taken one step closer to reality.
Yahoo Sports spoke to a myriad of people within the college football industry and the result is that a 12-team playoff is the most likely scenario, or they are very open to that idea.
This is far from over as there are multiple meetings that need to happen before an expansion can happen, and as previously stated on this topic, do not expect an expanded field for at least two seasons.
There are meetings in Chicago over two days in the middle of July with the four-member working group will present the finding to a group made up of SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson.
Having Thompson on the group is a plus for the league and the Group of Five to provide a voice to make sure there is an option for a Group of Five team for a 12-team field.
After that meeting, the recommendation will then be presented to all 10 conference commissioners, plus Swarbrick from Notre Dame, and then the new look playoff can start taking some sort of shape.
What Will It Look Like?
The conventional wisdom is that the 12-team playoff would have four byes and home games for the first round with five through eight hosting and then going to New Year’s Six games for the quarterfinal rounds.
The field that would make up the playoff would be all five Power Five champions, the highest-ranked Group of Five and then six at-large bids. My preference would be a pair of Group of Five to allow a bit more representation of good football that may not get the respect.
Going to 12 over eight makes sense because if the same automatic bids come from six entities, that leaves just two spots. Those two spots would be fought over a lot from the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12, so going to 12 allows for more really good teams a chance to win a national title.
The regular season would benefit so much from having automatic bids. The conference title games would serve as a real championship weekend with the winner getting into the playoffs. With a conference title being the most important thing all of the league games will get some extra juice, and the non-conference would benefit as well.
Going out and playing a really good team and then losing would not automatically eliminate a team from the playoff. Perhaps more top-end Power 5 games could be played and also the Group of 5 would be able to play those teams from bigger conferences since an upset wouldn’t eliminate the P5 team but it would boost the G5 team trying to claim its automatic spot.
Are There Downsides?
There are reasons not to expand the playoff. Safety is something that schools have harped upon but adding more games in exchange for a bigger paycheck is going to ring hollow.
Let’s say you win your league’s champ game & make a 12-team playoff as the 6 seed & make it to title game.
12 regular season
That’s a 17-game season.
Didnt that used to be a talking point?
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) June 8, 2021
The Group of 5 would’ve been guaranteed a playoff team each year… but in 5 of the 7 years, it’d still have been the No. 12 seed.
Why 12? Over the past 5 seasons, the B1G and SEC would’ve accounted for 30 of the 60 teams to make the playoff.
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) June 8, 2021
Players still are not getting any cut from this media rights deal that very easily will be three to five times higher than the current playoff contract. Name, Image, and Likeness will be around soon and that will help some of the athletes who get to the playoffs.
Those are legitimate concerns but they likely will be brushed under the mat in favor of the almighty dollar.
Expansion is coming and nothing can be done on that but perhaps some sort of negotiating can be done to give some this absurd amount of money to the players directly or indirectly as they are the ones providing the entertainment for this billion-dollar industry.