CFP expansion possibilities

CFP released something last week that they were considering alternatives to the current four-team playoff, and that there were 63 options under consideration. Those options include where to play as well as how many to play, and this week I’m hearing rumbles that they’re looking at a 12 team playoff (four byes obviously) that would involve early round games on campus.

They know people are getting tired of Alabama vs. Clemson vs. Ohio State every year and that football west of Norman is largely inconsequential before Halloween. Expanded playoffs try to address those issues. Of course they create other issues, like clobbering the minor bowls. But thought I’d throw it out for discussion.

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I do not like the present 4 team playoff, but feel 8 is better than 12 as it would be a three week time span.

D1 expanding the playoff format is long overdue IMO and would create much more interest and intrigue to the season. Might also help to level the recruitment of the top players.
D2 has a 28 team playoff format while D3 has a 32 team playoff format. So, not increasing the playoff format in D1 has never had anything to do with a negative outcome for the student athlete.
12 teams sounds good to me!

IMO, if they go to more than a four team playoff, they need to cancel conference championships.


That might be tricky because there will almost certainly be automatic bids for the Power 5 winners among the 12 teams. If Bama and Georgia both go 11-1 or 12-0 and didn’t play each other, who gets the automatic bid? Of course they’d both probably get in, but what about a Pac-12 tie at 10-2?
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic thinks they’ll shorten the season all right, but not by eliminating a championship game. He thinks they’ll get rid of a rent-a-win game.

I think it might be necessary to reduce the regular season by a week or two. That would allow conference championships and give more time for the playoffs. I don’t think a 12 game schedule is necessary anyway.

Having a playoff format at all already diminishes the value of the bowls. I don’t think having 12 will make it any worse. At this point, you’re playing in those lower tier bowls for extra practices, an interesting matchup you can learn from, and, hopefully, a cool swag bag.

Even the upper tier bowls–the big four–are not really what they used to be. You win the Sugar Bowl and lose in the championship game–what does that actually do to your Sugar Bowl victory? Does anyone care if team X wins the Sugar Bowl without winning the championship?

I guess I’m just happy that it would at least include non-Power 5 teams in the FBS.

Having these conversations is a positive to me. Expanding to eight with some tweaks in the regular schedule and conference play-offs seems possible and would likely expand a much broader geographical interest.

One possibility is what the Big Ten did in 2020. While they were playing the BTCG, the other 12 teams paired off for an additional conference game that day. Get the 12th game for everyone with one less rent-a-win.

It will be interesting to see how it works out. Frankly, with a real playoff system, bowl games will be meaningless.

They already are. Minor bowls are a nice reward if you won 7 or 8 games but largely meaningless.

The current format needs to be expanded. 8 teams would be ideal (believe once you get beyond 6-8 teams you’re just adding teams to fit a format), but I’ll take 12 just to get this thing going. Saban is against any kind of playoff expansion. That should tell you all you need to know…

I have always felt it should be expanded after the first couple of years watching it and like the thought of 8 but if it is 12 then it is 12. They will for sure need to trim down the season by at least a game. Always been a fan of the upper tier bowl games…lower tier…mehhhh, unless we are playing in one… :smiley:

Anything more than four is too many. Often times there are not four worthy teams, like last year for example.


Four teams capable of winning the NC? You’re probably right. And I used to agree with you. But when the. Same. Damn. Teams. Are. In. It. Every. Year, the other 130 fan bases are tuning out. And that’s not good for the game. Twelve also would give us the chance to get in if we can have, say, a repeat of 2010-2011. Which is not completely implausible.

I’ve got no interest in giving 8 more teams a chance to play in the Championship of the CFP if it means losing a game for the other 100+ teams. And I can tell you that there is no way the schools would be willing to give up the revenue from that game.

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Oh they’ll throw plenty of ESPN money at the teams

I think that the NIL stuff could be of some benefit to make the bowl games a bit more interesting and keep teams more motivated. Let each bowl sponsor give NIL contracts for some minor amount, with a big bonus for players on the winning team. Instead of a swag bag every player gets a $250 check for being on the bowl roster and getting your picture made at the bowl sponsored events before the game. But if your team wins you get another $ 2500 per player, as long as they put on a Hormel Chile Bowl winner T Shirt after the game and get their picture taken. Scale the payments up depending on the prestige of the bowl or the playoff and the depth of the sponsor’s pockets.

Doesn’t make much sense for ESPN to do that. They have current deals with SEC, ACC, BIG Ten, Big XII, and PAC-12.

The addition of 8 teams to CFP would mean 8 more games. But if they’re taking away regular season games to do it, that’s a loss of potentially dozens of other games. And if those 8 games are going to be existing bowl games, ESPN already has them.

Sorry, but 8 teams means four games.