The College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams sooner than we expected. It was announced before the season started that the College Football Playoff Committee expanded the playoffs to 12 teams, and the target year for the new format was 2026.
There were huge hurdles to jump over to make the playoff expansion come sooner, and yesterday college football fans got their wish.
The report came out last night from ESPN’S College Football Senior Writer Pete Thamel that the Rose Bowl signed an agreement allowing College Football Playoff to expand to 12 teams in 2024.
Source: CFP officials have been informed that the Rose Bowl has signed an agreement that will allow the College Football Playoff to expand to 12 teams in 2024 and 2025. — Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 1, 2022
The Rose Bowl will continue to be part of the College Football Playoff. The Rose Bowl was supposed to host the 2024 and 2025 non-playoff New Year Six Bowls, and now they will be hosting playoff matchups in those years.
The format will feature 12 teams, and the highest non-power five school will get one of those 12 spots. The first four teams will get a bye into the quarterfinals round, and the other eight will play a playoff game hosted by the higher seed.
The New Six Bowls, which have been rotating yearly, hosting playoff games, will host a playoff game every season. The Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Peach, Cotton, and Sugar Bowls will all be in the rotation, and four of them will host the quarterfinals, while the other two will host the semi-finals.
The National Championship will be played at a neutral site like every other, but it looks like it will be a week later in January than it is now.
If the 12-team playoff format happened right now after the rankings, as we saw from the committee on Tuesday, this would be the 12 teams.
Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and USC would all have a bye and be in the quarterfinals. At the same time, Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, and Penn State would host the first round at their stadiums.
Here's what a current 12-team playoff would look like under the format that begins in 2024 👀 pic.twitter.com/Xpkb9x0oO4 — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 1, 2022
Tulane gets the 12th seed since they would be the highest-ranked non-power five school, and every other team is self-explanatory.
The good part of the playoff expansion is eight more teams will be able to compete for a championship than the usual four. There will be teams who probably never had a chance of getting into the four teams getting an opportunity now with the expansion.
More teams mean you might see players decide not to commit to the top teams that we see in the playoff every year, like Alabama and Georgia, but instead go to power five schools that have never been to the playoff.
We also will see teams like Texas and Oklahoma jump from the Big 12 to the SEC, and UCLA and USC go from the PAC-12 to the Big Ten in a few years.
There will be more competitive teams in these conferences, and some outstanding football teams get tripped up once or twice and still should have a chance at the playoff.
Games will be more meaningful all season long. Usually, if you lose early, your season is over, and there’s very little hope that your team could make the playoffs, and if you lose twice, you can forget about it.
Two-loss teams will play in competitive games in November because their season is still on the line. Of course, that means college football fans will be glued to their seat more through the entire season.
Twelve teams are the best number of teams to be involved in this new playoff. Eight teams would make games like the SEC Championship between Alabama and Georgia meaningless from last year because they are both probably getting in. But, no matter the result, none of them would get a bye with eight teams, so both would play either way.
Twelve teams, the loser of that game will have to play the first round, while the winner gets to sit and wait for their opponent to win.
Playoff expansion also could have some bad things to come along with it. The College Football regular season feels like a 13 Week playoff already, and adding more teams will make games feel meaningless.
Some examples from this year could be Alabama vs. Tennessee and Alabama vs. LSU games. Both of these games were great, and Alabama ended up losing on the last play of the game both times.
Alabama makes a 12-team playoff no matter what, even with those two losses, and what is the meaning of watching those games if you know what the playoff results will be down the line?
We also have seen in some years that no teams even deserved to be the third and fourth seed, and we saw them get destroyed by teams like Alabama and Clemson.
What do you think will happen with eight more teams getting in? We are going to see some vast blowouts, and the goal of adding eight more teams was not to add eight more teams and see what happens, but it was to add eight more teams and see them compete.
Adding 12 teams to the College Football Playoff will be great if we get 10-12 competitive teams every year. If we get more teams with a chance to win the entire thing, more fanbases will be invested in the sport, and more people will be enjoying college football throughout the country.