On Friday, big news came out of the college football world, as the College Football Playoff’s (CFP) board of managers unanimously voted to expand the CFP to 12 teams in 2026. However, they are encouraging the commissioners to implement it as soon as 2024.
College football fans, let’s ride.#CFBPlayoff 🏈🏆 pic.twitter.com/IEKUSI2BGx
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) September 3, 2022
According to ESPN:
“In what was described as ‘an historic day for college football,’ the board’s 11 presidents and chancellors approved the original 12-team model, which was first made public last summer and includes the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams, the board announced.”
Although the board of managers is encouraging the commissioners to implement the new playoff format as soon as 2024, there are still issues that need to be resolved, per Mississippi State president Mark Keenum. Keenum is the chair of the CFP’s board of managers.
“There are still quite a few issues that have to be resolved — some very obvious logistical issues that have to be resolved — but our hope is that we can get [the commissioners] to move on this as quickly as it is possible to do so. We have asked our commissioners, the management committee, to explore the possibility of us beginning the 12-team playoff format before the 2026 season, in either 2024 or 2025.”
There is optimism that the playoff format will be implemented before 2026. The CFP selection committee will determine the rankings, per usual.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said:
“This is an exciting day for the future of college football. As originally proposed, the 12-team playoff creates more access for teams and conferences across the country to compete in college football’s championship event. There is work to be done to make this format a reality, but I am pleased we are all moving in the same direction with a common purpose.”
Initially, politics was reportedly the reason why the proposal was prevented. After The University of Southern California (USC) and The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) left the Pac-12 and committed to the Big Ten, the specific objections by the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 began to fade.
The Pac-12 released a statement on Friday, stating:
“The Pac-12 is strongly in favor of CFP expansion and welcomes the decision of the CFP Board. CFP expansion will provide increased access and excitement and is the right thing for our student-athletes and fans. We look forward to working with our fellow conferences to finalize the important elements of an expanded CFP in order to launch as soon practicable.”
“We’re not naive to understand there’s added value by having an expanded playoff, but I can tell you from being part of these discussions from the very beginning, what motivated the presidents and me as well was that we needed to have an opportunity for more participation of teams in our nation’s national championship tournament. Having only four teams, we felt like that’s not fair to our student-athletes from a participation standpoint. … We do recognize the additional revenues that will be available, but that hasn’t been the driving force behind this ultimate decision. It has not been.”
The 12-team playoff format will give the student-athletes a better chance to impress the NFL scouts, it gives them a higher chance to get drafted, and the athletes will likely be more motivated than ever to work hard and showcase their talent.