College Football Playoff Expanding to 12 Teams
After years of discussion and deliberation over it from the highest powers in the sport, an expanded College Football Playoff has finally been voted on and will be implemented starting in 2026, “unless earlier implementation is possible”. The unanimous decision was finally reached this afternoon.
The way that this format will work is that the six highest ranked conference champions will receive automatic bids into the playoff, with the remaining six bids being awarded at-large. The highest four ranked conference champions will receive a first round bye, with the lower eight ranked teams playing games on-campus at the site of the higher ranked team. Given the fact that you have to be a conference champion to receive a bye, for example, Georgia last year would have hosted a playoff game at Sanford Stadium.
No matter how you feel about this, and there are certainly mixed opinions, this has seemed inevitable for a very long time. There are arguments to be made on both sides, but if we have learned one thing this summer through conference realignment, it’s that college football is an ever-evolving sport where the ones making the decisions are going to do what they feel is in their best financial interest.