College Football Playoff To Expand To 12 Teams
A good thing for college football might be happening?!?!
A 12-team playoff is nearing? But not soon enough
College football is finally smarting up — at least in this instance — the College Football Playoff committee held its scheduled meeting on Friday and the result is an expanded field of 12 teams.
The new playoff will begin after the current contract, but possibly earlier.
The 12-team model is expected to start in 2026, after the current contract, according to a source. There's still a chance that it could go earlier, but those details are complicated and would take some time to work out. https://t.co/sRWlmiDvbe
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 2, 2022
The proposal itself had to be unanimous to pass which was not the case last time around when a few conference commissioners voted against it due to not knowing the financials.
The framework is exactly the same as before with 12 teams in, the six highest-rated conference champions, and then six at-large bids. Also, a conference champion is the only team to get a bye, so if an independent team like Notre Dame is a top-four team, well the highest seed they can be is No. 5.
Plus, the first-round games will be on camps and then the quarterfinals and semifinals will be at bowl locations. Then the national title game will rotate as it has during the current playoff system.
𝗢𝗙𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟: College Football Playoff Board of Managers Votes to Expand Playoff to 12 Teams
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) September 2, 2022
This means that a Group of Five team can get into the field every year as a conference champion, and in an extremely rare year — i.e. COVID-19 season or the splintering of the AAC/Big East — two Group of Five teams get in.
There is room for a second G5 to qualify if they don’t win their league and that would still take an amazing season.
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson was part of the working group and fought hard for this proposal which is more like a playoff than an invitational.
“I fought for two years in that room — biased — to get to the six and six, represented 60-some institutions, and so I’m not willing to just walk away and give that up,” Thompson said. “And on the same note, what has qualified certain other conference champions to be guaranteed a spot that if they haven’t accomplished it in six, seven years, why do they deserve that guaranteed access? Just because they won that league?”
This is not only a win for college football because consolidation of the sport is taking place with the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma and the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA.
With this expanded playoff and six auto bids for winning its league keeps the fanbases, schools, and a lot of people involved in the sport. A four-team playoff with two super leagues — which is still the case — could realistically have been an SEC vs. Big Ten showdown every year.
The one downside is very likely having to wait for this 12-team field to take place.
Overall, this is a big win for college football.