How it would have looked in 2020
The college football qualifiers will inevitably expand, likely to 12 teams as early as 2023.
While we know College Football Playoff will be in its current four-team format for the next two playoffs, it looks like expansion is inevitable at this point.
According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, dozens of playoff players are increasingly open to the idea of expanding to 12 teams, as it appears to be the preferred model to an eight-team playoff series. This will theoretically allow six automatic qualifiers among the five Power 5 champions, the 5 group champion and six loose berths. Currently, there are four traveling teams.
“The reason you go to 12 is because you can develop the path of least resistance to a good result,” an anonymous senior university official with great knowledge of the situation told Thamel.
To date, the ACC and SEC champions have made the pitch to four teams every year, while no team in the Group of 5 has ever crushed the party. The National Independent Notre Dame has entered twice, but the Pac-12 have only sent two teams in the past seven years, most recently with the 2016 Washington Huskies. Although a 12-team model needs to be agreed upon , it will allow more teams to enter.
Here’s what a 12-team college football playoff would have looked like in the past college season.
College football qualifying extension: what 12 teams would have looked like in 2020
To simplify as well as possible, we will take final ranking of last year’s college football qualifiers to seed those teams, but also include any automatic qualifiers outside of the top 12. Obviously, the team that throws a wrench in all of this is the Oregon Ducks, who went 4-2 but won the Pac-12 championship on USC Trojans will finish as a # 25 ranked team. These are the new # 12s.
The other thing to consider here is that the top four teams would get a first round bye, so the four teams that actually made the playoffs last year (Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame Fighting Irish), would not be playing a first round game. Oregon, Big 12 Champion Oklahoma, Group of 5 Champion Cincinnati and five teams in general would play in these.
Here’s what last year’s squad would have looked like in this supposed 12-team playoff format.
College football qualifying ranking: 12-team format with automatic qualifiers
- Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) * ^
- Clemson’s Tigers (10-1) * ^
- Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) * ^
- Irish fighter from Notre-Dame (10-1) ^
- Texas A&M Aggies (8-1)
- Oklahoma Sooners (8-2) *
- Florida Gators (8-3)
- Cincinnati Bear (9-0) *
- Georgia Bulldogs (7-2)
- Iowa State Cyclones (8-3)
- Indiana Hoosiers (6-1)
- Oregon Ducks (4-2) *
* = Automatic qualifier (Power 5 / Champion of the group of 5)
^ = Goodbye to the first round
As noted above, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Notre Dame all get first-round exemptions. The six automatic qualifiers are SEC Champion Alabama, ACC Champion Clemson, Big Ten Champion Ohio State, Big 12 Champion Oklahoma, Group of 5 Champion Cincinnati and Pac-12 Champion Oregon. The six general offers would be Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Iowa State and Indiana.
Here’s how the first round clashes would have gone in this 12-team playoff format.
- # 1 Alabama Crimson Tide BYE
- N ° 2 Clemson Tigers GOODBYE
- # 3 Ohio State Buckeyes BYE
- No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish BYE
- No.5 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No.12 Oregon Ducks
- No.6 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No.11 Indiana Hoosiers
- No. 7 Florida Gators vs. No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones
- No.8 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. No.9 Georgia Bulldogs
If we developed that a bit, No.1 Alabama would get the winner between No.8 Cincinnati and No.9 Georgia. No.2 Clemson would face the winner between No.7 Florida and No.10 Iowa State. The Ohio State No.3 would face the winner between No.6 Oklahoma and No.11 Indiana. And No.4 Notre Dame would get the winner between No.5 Texas A&M and No.12 Oregon.
Ultimately, the expansion of college football playoffs will happen for one reason, and only one: money. While expanding it will dilute the best part of college football, which is the regular season, it will allow more teams to come in and have more parts of the country more engaged throughout the year on top of that. the southeastern imprint, which likes it anyway.
Going from potentially four teams to 12 sounds like a lot, but this plan looks better than eight.