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College Football Playoff Expanding to 12 Teams

Expansion is coming

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Friday afternoon the College Football Playoff’s board of managers voted unanimously to expand the playoff field from four teams to 12.

Expansion will come by 2026 but the board is encouraging the 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame to make it happen by 2024. Those discussions will be held next Thursday in Dallas

“This is an exciting day for the future of college football,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “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.”

Friend of the site Ross Dellenger tweeted out the full details of the looming playoff expansion.

Highlights of Delly’s tweet includes the following:

  • The field of 12 will consist of six highest ranked conference champions and a group of the six highest-ranked non-conference champions
  • Teams seeded 1-4 will have a first round bye
  • From there the higher seeds will host lower seeds (5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9) either on campus OR at another site designated by the higher ranked team

It was later reported that the New Year’s Six Bowls (Sugar, Rose, Cotton, Orange, Peach, Fiesta) are “expected” to be in the playoff serving as quarterfinal and semifinal games. The national championship game will continue to be at a neutral site.

Atlanta and Miami have already won bids to host the 2024 and 2025 national championship games. If the playoff field does expand before 2026 those championship games will have to move back by at least a week and possibly be relocated to new venues for logistical reasons.

What do you think? Is expansion good for college football or does this only push the game closer and closer to being NFL-lite?