College Football Playoff Approves Model for Expanded 12-Team Field

College Football Playoff Approves Model for Expanded 12-Team Field

College football fans have been eagerly awaiting the decision of the College Football Playoff board of managers regarding the format of the upcoming 12-team field. Finally, after months of delay, a new model has been unanimously approved, which guarantees the inclusion of the five highest-ranked conference champions along with the highest-ranked Group of 5 conference champions. This means that the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and the highest-ranked Group of 5 conference champion will all have a guaranteed spot in the playoff. Additionally, the next seven highest-ranked teams will also earn a place in the tournament.

The decision was made after a virtual meeting of the presidents and chancellors of the various colleges, along with the Notre Dame president, Rev. John Jenkins. The Pac-12 had requested more time to assess its future following significant conference realignment, which caused the delay in the decision. However, the vote was finally made, and the 5+7 format was approved.

Representing the Pac-12 on the board, Washington State president Kirk Schulz expressed his support for the new format, stating that the seven at-large bids would be more beneficial to his school and Oregon State than the original proposal of six conference champions and six at-large teams. This change in sentiment is a result of prominent teams from the Pac-12 moving to other conferences.

To further strengthen their football programs, the Pac-12 and the Mountain West have agreed to a temporary scheduling partnership. As part of this agreement, Oregon State and Washington State will face at least six MWC opponents in the upcoming 2024 season.

Under the 5+7 format, the four highest-ranked conference champions, along with the highest-ranked Group of 5 conference champion, will receive a first-round bye, ensuring that deserving teams have a fair chance to compete for the national championship.

In addition to the playoff format, Washington State and Oregon State also took the opportunity to request continued Power 5 revenue and voting rights in the new CFP contract. Despite uncertainties surrounding their conference affiliation, the schools are seeking a distribution share and voting rights equal to those of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, or SEC conferences.

While the revenue distribution for the next contract is yet to be determined, the CFP board chair, Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, assured that discussions are ongoing to bring recommendations to the board. These discussions are crucial as they will impact the future of the sport’s postseason and could lead to changes in the distribution of revenue.

Furthermore, the CFP’s management committee, consisting of the commissioners of the various colleges and Notre Dame’s athletic director, will convene in Dallas to continue working on the implementation of the 12-team playoff. Key decisions regarding the future TV deal, access, and revenue distribution will be made during these meetings.

One potential change that is being considered is the elimination of the contracts the New Year’s Six bowls have with respective conferences. This would provide more flexibility in determining team placements and create more exciting matchups for fans.

The College Football Playoff remains committed to ensuring a fair and thrilling playoff experience for teams and fans alike. With the guarantee of five conference champions and seven at-large bids, the expanded 12-team field promises to deliver intense competition and captivating moments on the road to the national championship.