The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams, and that model will take over no later than the 2026 season.
It's a good step for college football to move forward with the second chapter of the CFP era.The College Football Playoff board of managers, along with the university presidents and chancellors, voted to expand the four-team playoff to 12 teams in a unanimous decision on Friday.
"This is a historic day for college football," CFP executive director Bill Hancock said on a teleconference. "A great day to expand the playoff to 12 teams."
According to The Associated Press, "The presidents approved the original 12-team proposal that called for the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large picks, as determined by a selection committee, to make the playoff."
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What does that mean for college football? How is the inclusive model better for college football? What about realignment? Will the regular season still matter? Let's count the ways.
Time for inclusion
The Sporting News broke down the pros and cons of the 12-team model when it was first proposed on June 8, 2021.
The biggest pro is simple. The four-team playoff has become a monopoly. Six schools — Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame — have combined for 25 of the 32 CFP appearances. That's 78.1 percent of the berths, and all six schools are in the top 10 this season with the Sooners the lowest-ranked team at No. 9.
This is the ninth year of the four-team model, and this sequence has played out enough times. LSU was the only school outside of that group that won a national championship, in 2019 with Heisman Troph College Lacrosse Jerseys y winner Joe Burrow.
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Now ask this question: Was it easier for Burrow to break that monopoly at LSU or to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl XLVI last season? Believe it or not, the answer is probably LSU.
Only six schools have won multiple CFP games in eight years. Six NFL teams win wild card games on the first weekend. It's a more exciting model with more teams involved, and we finally get college football postseason games on campus.
One of the roadblocks to the exp Eastern Illinois Panthers clothes ansion model was the number of conference champions and number of automatic qualifiers.
So, the six highest-ranked conference champions means the 10 FBS conferences will survive. The pecking order has changed with the realignment moves, and it's a good bet that the SEC and Big Ten will get a conference champion in every season. The ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 would be the next tier, followed by the Group of 5 (AAC, MWC, Sun Belt, Conference-USA, MAC). While there might be some consternation from the Power 5 fans about a Group of 5 school getting in, there should be no complaints about adding a 13th or 14th team at this point. A dozen is more than enough.
The automatic qualifiers Columbus State Cougars clothes , of course, will be heavy on Notre Dame, SEC and Big Ten schools. Those two conferences would have dominated a hypothetical 12-team format in the past, and they will do that in the future, whether it's 2024 or later.
This format might have been approved sooner had the SEC not added Texas and Oklahoma in 2021. Of course, the Big Ten responded by adding USC and UCLA. Those are the only 16-team conferences in the Power 5, but this new playoff model might put the brakes on the realignment wheel.
There is no incentive for Notre Dame to go to the Big Ten. The five-game ACC arrangement is preferable. The Big 12 and Pac-12 can survive in this format, too, and they won't argue. The Pac-12 hasn't had a CFP team since 2016. The Big 12 hasn't won a CFP game. They'll get more cracks at it in this format.
The Group of 5 is a winner. With six conference championships, they NCAA Crewneck SweatJerseys get a Cinderella team every season. Cincinnati paved the way in 2021. The Bearcats might be leaving for the Big 12, but it's the same model Utah and TCU followed in the BCS era. Another program will emerge following that model.
Regular season still matters
Yes, the regular season will still matter, even if there will be a sliding definition for what constitutes a successful season. Three-loss teams from Power 5 conferences will make the 12-team College Football Playoff, which will seem watered-down knowing that no two-loss team has made the four-team College Football Playoff.
"More teams will be in the running to be selected for the playoff later in the season," Hancock said. "It will enhance the November-part of Drexel Dragons Jerseys the season as well as September."
There will be scenarios when Ohio State and Michigan will get in the College Football Playoff. Same goes for Alabama and Auburn, Texas and Oklahoma and Notre Dame and USC.
The games will still matter, too. Did you watch the Backya Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry Gear rd Brawl on Thursday? Pitt and West Virginia had not played in 11 years. Perhaps they can make up for it by playing twice in one s Arkansas State Red Wolves shirt eason.
Simply put, it's better
College football is a sport that has operated on exclusivity since the poll era, and that has created split national championships and controversies through the BCS and CFP eras.
The same fans who hold that exclusivity — "We're No. 1!" — so dear are the same ones who have derided the format. Why wasn't there a playoff? Why did the BCS have computers College Lacrosse shirt ? Who are these on the CFP committee? The more teams you add, the fewer questions there should be. Evolution is better than elitism, but you can still be No. 1.
Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame are still going to get those CFP appearances, and at this point the majority of those first-round byes. That is the reward for the regular season — a diminished one, but it still matters.
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In an inclusive 12-team format, there will be no debate about the national champion. That's the overriding trump card for why this can work, even if it takes time to create the parity that is intended.
Don't worry. The sport that thrives on debate will still have that. Strength of schedule, strength of conference and the CFP committee's choices. We can still argue about those things, and they won't be in short supply. This is coll Cal State Northridge Matadors shirt ege football.
But the money generated from the new CFP will help the sport grow from the stale postseason it has now. The first time they're on campus for a playoff game, the intensity is going to rival the NFL. Remember that now.
So, bring on 12 teams in 2026. If it's sooner — like 2024 — even better.