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College Football Playoff Management Committee Considering 12-Team Expansion

June 10, 2021
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It’s possible we could see the College Football Playoffs expanded in the next couple of seasons. Following a meeting of the College Football Playoff management committee, the idea of a 12-team expansion of the CFP appears to be moving forward.

According to the release from the CFP committee, the proposal was put together by a committee comprised of multiple conference commissioners from around the country, including the Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

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"The four-team format has been very popular and is a big success," the members of the four-person working group said in a statement. "But it's important that we consider the opportunity for more teams and more student-athletes to participate in the playoff. After reviewing numerous options, we believe this proposal is the best option to increase participation, enhance the regular season and grow the national excitement of college football."

CFP executive director Bill Hancock talked about a decision being made as early as September. “If a favorable recommendation is made to those presidents and chancellors, they will receive the proposal at their meeting on June 22 in Dallas. If the presidents decide to allow this proposal or any alternative proposal to be considered, we anticipate that there would be a study period over the summer to explore what we believe or what we know to be many details that still remain to be worked out. The earliest, and I repeat that, the earliest that any final decision could be made by the board would be in September. It certainly could be later, but the earliest is September.”

According to the release by the CFP, “four highest-ranked conference champions would be seeded one through four and each would receive a first-round bye, while teams seeded five through 12 would play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team.” Following the first round of games, the quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in bowl games, with the championship being played on a neutral site as it has been since the inception of the CFP.

College Football Playoff
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College football insider Brett McMurphy reported the expansion wouldn’t take place until following the 2023 season at the earliest, with one of his sources saying it’s possible we could see the elimination of anywhere from 4-10 bowl games due to the CFP expansion.

Discussion from...

College Football Playoff Management Committee Considering 12-Team Expansion

293 Views | 14 Replies | Last: 2 days ago by CaliforniaCowboy
Orangeheart72
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IMO, this is a very good move for the OSU, ISU, Boise, BYU, West Virginia, K State, Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, etc. type teams that might get into a playoff spot every 2 or 3 years at least. It may help equalize recruiting for a few more of those type schools a bit and put recruiting pressure on the blue bloods, spread the talent wealth a little more. Right now, the top 50 to 100 player/high school recruits can pretty much tell which 5 to 6 schools only have the most likelihood of taking them into the 4 team limited playoff while they're still in college. And it's especially good for a limited top tier of rich schools if they consistently get back to winning......Texas, Michigan, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, S. Cal, Oregon. Those folks could likely join the current Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, OU and Notre Dame club as almost yearly fixtures in the playoffs.....(2 out of 3 year situation anyway).
I would have preferred Mike Leach's proposals for 16 or 32 teams (more akin to other sports), but this is a start! Perhaps it will cause another expansion later on down the line a few more years.
Danny Deck
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I'm skeptical of the long term benefits for anyone but the blue bloods. That said, I think the first round would be more fun, and hopefully with more exciting games than the semi finals are currently providing.

The big change I continue to want to see is all bowl games do away with tie ins and match ups are based on the rankings. The tie ins make for less compelling games.
CaliforniaCowboy
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put me in the "not a fan of the idea" camp.

The top teams get a bye? WTH? That's just plain silly.

.... and it pretty much guarantees that a team like Boise would never be ranked in the top 4... never (you know, that ranking service of great integrity)

what in the world would we do if OSU finally wins the Big12 and a Pac12 team is "ranked" higher, sliding us to #5 and in the play-in round? Oh the outrage.

I don't think this solves anything, and makes it much more difficult for other bowls to remain profitable.

bad, bad, bad idea.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Applying the rankings to the past 7 playoffs: (stats courtesy of 24x7 sports)

The Big Ten and the SEC dominate these bids overall, snagging 46.4% of the overall playoff opportunities.

At least 50% of the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12's membership would have reached the playoff at least once over the seven-year period

OSU would not have been in any play-off. Big 12: Oklahoma (6), TCU (2), Baylor (2), Kansas State (1), Iowa State (1)

So... once again, the rich get richer... nothing more.
NJAggie
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It's a bad deal for all but the top teams and corrupt committee. They committee and its pet group of teams get to rid themselves of the bad guys motif in public opinion, and there is no material change to what happens in the end in the playoffs. None of the teams outside the top two ever have a shot at winning this, and it will wind up killing off the bowl games so that a school like OSU goes from 15 years of post season play to 0 years of post season play.
Danny Deck
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This isn't necessarily on this topic but it's interesting that TCU and Baylor would both have 2 trips under their belt and also TCU has had 2 losing seasons in that time frame and Baylor 1 (they went 1-11 so almost as losing as you can get.)

I know a lot of people say they would take those lows if they could get the highs, but man do the lows of a terrible team suck.

OSU would have been the first out in 2016 as we were ranked 12th, but WMU would have gotten in as the 6th conference champion.

It's hard not to wonder if there wouldn't have been some shifting around of the wild card rankings.

Big 10 - 4
Pac 12 - 3
ACC - 2
Big 12 - 1
SEC - 1
MAC - 1

Colorado was #10. Wouldn't have taken much to swap OSU and CU in the final rankings.

On a broader scope, it looks like the number of losses you can have and be assured a spot have expanded by 1. Lots of 2 loss teams will now get in, with some 3 loss blue bloods also being eligible.
Danny Deck
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NJAggie said:

It's a bad deal for all but the top teams and corrupt committee. They committee and its pet group of teams get to rid themselves of the bad guys motif in public opinion, and there is no material change to what happens in the end in the playoffs. None of the teams outside the top two ever have a shot at winning this, and it will wind up killing off the bowl games so that a school like OSU goes from 15 years of post season play to 0 years of post season play.
My hot take is that CFB should do away with the playoffs all together and just do bowl games again. The ridiculousness is what makes CFB fun and they should lean into that, not into the playoffs.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Danny Deck said:


My hot take is that CFB should do away with the playoffs all together and just do bowl games again. The ridiculousness is what makes CFB fun and they should lean into that, not into the playoffs.
that has always been my position as well....

they need to stop trying to make College football into something that it is not, and let it be enjoyed as it has been for over 100 years.

There is zero chance of a playoff ever working in college football, because there are too many teams, they don't play each other, the money (salary cap) doesn't exist, and every team/conference does not have an equal chance of participating.

This playoff is not sanctioned by the NCAA as a championship so just stop the pretense and go back to the fun.

NJAggie
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Danny Deck said:

NJAggie said:

It's a bad deal for all but the top teams and corrupt committee. They committee and its pet group of teams get to rid themselves of the bad guys motif in public opinion, and there is no material change to what happens in the end in the playoffs. None of the teams outside the top two ever have a shot at winning this, and it will wind up killing off the bowl games so that a school like OSU goes from 15 years of post season play to 0 years of post season play.
My hot take is that CFB should do away with the playoffs all together and just do bowl games again. The ridiculousness is what makes CFB fun and they should lean into that, not into the playoffs.
I totally agree. I don't need a national champion in football. Just let the bowls play out and the polls do their things.
NJAggie
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Danny Deck said:

This isn't necessarily on this topic but it's interesting that TCU and Baylor would both have 2 trips under their belt and also TCU has had 2 losing seasons in that time frame and Baylor 1 (they went 1-11 so almost as losing as you can get.)

I know a lot of people say they would take those lows if they could get the highs, but man do the lows of a terrible team suck.

OSU would have been the first out in 2016 as we were ranked 12th, but WMU would have gotten in as the 6th conference champion.

It's hard not to wonder if there wouldn't have been some shifting around of the wild card rankings.

Big 10 - 4
Pac 12 - 3
ACC - 2
Big 12 - 1
SEC - 1
MAC - 1

Colorado was #10. Wouldn't have taken much to swap OSU and CU in the final rankings.

On a broader scope, it looks like the number of losses you can have and be assured a spot have expanded by 1. Lots of 2 loss teams will now get in, with some 3 loss blue bloods also being eligible.
I agree at first look it does appear a few more teams would get in, but just as the committee always has ways to argue for a certain 6-8 teams always making the current format, they'll do it again with 12. So the pool goes up a bit, but there will be about 10-15 teams that will have ever logical hurdle overcome to get them in that top 12 so they can be in the playoffs.
Danny Deck
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That the same 10-15 teams are the ones who always finish with 2 or fewer losses is evidence of the inequality in CFB, not perfidy on the part of the playoff committee. I'm not going to assume an 8-4 USC will jump a 10-2 OSU until it actually happens.
NJAggie
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Danny Deck said:

That the same 10-15 teams are the ones who always finish with 2 or fewer losses is evidence of the inequality in CFB, not perfidy on the part of the playoff committee. I'm not going to assume an 8-4 USC will jump a 10-2 OSU until it actually happens.
Well it is pretty consistent, and the ratings have a remarkable way of creating logic that gets the ratings they want, not the ratings as they should be.
Danny Deck
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What is it about the ratings that cause our futility vs OU? That actually happens on the field.

Teams can definitely get to 10-2 with smoke and mirrors or just a whole lotta luck once, but these teams that do it year in and year out aren't usually doing it that way. Ohio State is actually dominant within the Big 10 not just lucky.
CaliforniaCowboy
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that all could be true, but the year that they "won it all", they got into the goofy playoff based on "ratings" that most considered unwarranted.

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