They don’t have to decide anything now, and whatever they do decide doesn’t have to be unanimous (but if you don’t go along, you might be left out entirely). But it seems to be going past 12 to 16 teams, at least in some corners.
But how do you hand out the 16 spots? All the conference champs and a few at-larges? I hope not. The thought of Northern Illinois or Florida Atlantic playing a first round game at Bryant-Denny or the Horseshoe and getting mangled 60-0 is not appealing. The Power 5 winners, one G5 winner and six at-large? What if there aren’t five P5 conferences left in 2026? Eight conference winners and 8 at large? That’s still at least three G5s, maybe two at most might actually belong there (and with the Big 12 plucking teams like UCF, Cincy and Houston, the G5 may have trouble with producing even one team that deserves it).
It’s also possible that a 16-team field would devalue the regular season more than a 12-team field, but maybe not. There is sentiment that the current format results in 90+ percent of the teams being eliminated by Halloween; more spots mean more games in November that actually mean something. But 16 also means that 4 middling teams get thrown to the wolves in the first round, which can become a player safety issue if Bama or Georgia is just steamrolling them.
It’s not going to be a model where only conference champs get in; Greg Sankey, Jack Swarbrick and Kevin Warren ain’t gonna go for that. Only 2-3 at large spots won’t fly either for the same reason, which pretty much requires we go past 8 (a plan with only 8 at-large teams ain’t gonna fly either).
Next meeting of the CFP management committee is set for late September. Conceivable they’ll reach an agreement then, but not overly likely
As it should be. How? Doesn’t really matter, there will ALWAYS be a controversy, especially if you have a committee to name the teams.At least your reasonably sure you didn’t overlook a potential winner of the NC. Should just be a formula so to speak IMO, rules the same for everybody w a tie breaker, you qualify or you don’t. No BS biased committee. Of course there will be one.
The regular season got devalued when college football adopted a national championship playoff. The playoff also devalued the bowls-if you aren’t in the playoffs it’s just an exhibition game. The number of bowls likewise devalues the regular season-lots of mediocre and some bad teams go to bowl games.
Going to sixteen creates more meaningful games in the regular season and increase the number of games that really mean something in the post-season.
The dilution of the playoffs really should not be any more of an issue for football than it is for the other college sports. There are what, 110-120 teams at FBS level? The percentage of teams making a 16 team playoff would still be much lower than the percentages for college baseball or basketball. You get a lot of bad first round games in those sports, and it does not impact the interest in the playoffs.
What about playing the extra games? Eight of the teams in a sixteen team playoff would not be playing any more games-their playoff game would be in the same slot as a bowl game. The quarter final losers play one extra game, the semi-final losers play two extra games, and the finalists play three extra games.
Can the players on those eight teams that play the extra games handle it? Well, it won’t be easy, but considering what many of those players did when they were younger, it does not appear to be much of an extra burden for older players who likely have access to better conditioning, nutrition, medical care, etc. than they did in high school.
If their high school team made the playoffs, they likely played a ten game schedule (with maybe a scrimmage game before the season started) plus somewhere between one and four playoff games, depending on winning and the number of teams in the playoff bracket. Most high school teams either don’t have any open weeks or only have one open date.
In college, the teams play a longer regular season by at least one game, though no one has a scrimmage game before the season starts. All college teams will have an open week, and there is a gap in December between the regular season and the bowl game of a few weeks ( I can’t see a sixteen team playoff starting before Christmas).The game is much more violent and physically demanding in college, but there is some down time before the playoffs and much better access to the things and staff needed to keep the players reasonably healthy.
Don’t guarantee any spots. Choose a fair ranking system and let the 16 top ranked teams be in the playoff. Strength of schedule SHOULD be one factor but not the be all and end all criteria. If a mid major is undefeated and, when they had a chance to play up, played well, they should be ranked in the top 16. If they go undefeated and there are 16 teams in the power conferences that are better than them, they should not automatically get in. Giving them 16 shots at it should be enough, then let the best teams play it off.
The regular season does a good job of eliminating most teams from real consideration as a “national champion.” After 12 games, there are often no more than 2 or 3 who should get real consideration. Rarely are there as many as 6.
But we’re not interested in having a national champion or a “we’re number 1” team that took on all comers in a difficult schedule and won all but maybe one game. We want a tournament. The tournament winner is then called the national champion. So, if we’re going to do that, we shouldn’t allow the best team of the worst conference to get in unless that best team clearly deserves consideration as a real threat to win it all.
All a 16 (or more) team CFP does is generate tons of money. Perhaps that justifies it. Money seems to justify everything in college football these days. So if there are 16 teams all the G5 (or whatever the remaining non-power conferences are called) will want a piece of the action regardless of their shot at winning. Besides, it’ll be a great recruiting tool for places like Ark State, Old Dominion, W Ky. They can tell their kids they have a better chance of getting into the playoff as the winner (or 2nd place team) in the SBC than Vanderbilt or Missouri have as a member of the brutal SEC.
Yes and 16 teams would give them in the end those 3 or 4 who are legitimately lots better AND give some cinderella a chance to upset some of them, generating increased viewership, ratings and money. The fact that it increases the likelihood that the best team might stumble and not be the champ is nothing compared to the money for all that it would generate. The basketball tourney is huge compared to 16 teams, but the majority of the final four are usually 1 or 2 seeds. It will be the same for football.
If you’d had a 16-team playoff last year, using only the CFP ranking, here are the first-round matchups:
Bama vs. Oklahoma
Michigan vs. Iowa (which was a rematch of the B1G title game)
Georgia vs Oregon
Cincy vs BYU
ND vs Pitt
Ohio State vs Utah (they played each other anyway in the Rose Bowl)
Bayluh vs Sparty
Flopnecks vs Okie Lite
If you did top 8 conference champs and 8 at large:
Champs: Bama, Michigan, Cincy, Bayluh, Utah, Pitt, La-Laf, and I have no idea who the 8th would have been (San Diego State lost to Utah State in the MWC CG but was 25th in CFP).
At large: Georgia, ND, tOSU, Flopnecks, Sparty, BYU, Oregon, Iowa.
6 champs and 10 at large: Scratch La-Laf from the above list, add OU and Wake Forest to the at-large list.
Correct it’s now about having a tournament winner as the national champ. And in that forum the deepest strongest teams will win, which is why the SEC has dominated the four team version. Sixteen teams will only make that advantage worse and provide no more than today from an outcome perspective.
However….being able to say you’re a playoff team plus the money means a lot to some people. Me not so much.