ESPN: College Football Playoff expansion roundtable – The good, the bad, the what-ifs
Next week, the College Football Playoff management committee will consider a proposal to expand the CFP to 12 teams.
The proposal calls for the bracket to include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six remaining highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP selection committee.
So what happens now? First, the management committee would need to approve the plan. If it does, it goes to the board of managers, a group of 11 university presidents and chancellors. If they approve it, then the conference commissioners and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick will spend the summer figuring out how to implement it.
“It’s the first step in a long process that won’t end before September,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t start talking about it now. So let’s break down what we know so far… [MORE]
CBS Sports: College Football Playoff expansion may surprisingly level the playing field, enhance the regular season
The College Football Playoff announced Thursday a proposed expansion of the size of its field from four teams to 12. There are a few surprising elements of the proposed new structure and the number of teams is only the beginning.
The creation and expansion of the championship structure in college football traditionally happens a glacial pace. The Bowl Championship Series was the first iteration of a playoff, albeit one with only two teams, and even that ended up with a “split” national championship in 2003. The BCS lasted for 16 seasons. The College Football Playoff came next with a four-team format beginning in 2014 on a 12-year contract.
So for the powers that be to suddenly have a thirst to triple the field to 12 — skipping right past six- and eight-team models — is unusually progressive.
The second biggest surprise of the expansion proposed by this CFP working group is the format, which calls for the field to be made up of the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams with the top four champions receiving byes… [MORE]
ESPN: College Football Playoff expansion: 12-team historic simulations, storylines and more
To see how a new development might affect the future, take a look at how it would have affected the past. That’s a go-to of mine — see: how larger playoffs would have worked in 2020 or how a much bigger, earlier playoff would have affected things — and with the news that we could be moving toward a 12-team playoff soon, we have a reason to dip into that well once more.
For all the simulations I’ve done, I had never really paid much attention to a 12-team format. An eight-teamer — six conference champions with two at-large bids — has long seemed perfectly inclusive and interesting to me. It was the logical next step. But as it turns out, a 12-teamer works quite well in terms of political calibration.
A 12-team playoff indeed offers a playoff path to what we have long referred to as the Group of 5 conferences, assuring that college football’s national title race is actually inclusive for just about the first time ever. But it also assures that the most powerful conferences and teams benefit massively from extra at-large bids. And the news that quarterfinal games would take place in bowl games (presumably the four New Year’s Six bowls that don’t host semifinals in a given year) instead of home fields conveniently allows the most influential bowls to remain relevant. We lose home-field atmospheres, but the Rose Bowl doesn’t end up with the Big Ten’s fourth-best team against the Pac-12’s third… [MORE]
Sports Illustrated: Exploring the Weaknesses of a 12-Team College Football Playoff
The 12-team College Football Playoff model revealed Thursday is almost perfect, the athletic director said from the other side of the phone line.
Almost, he reiterated.
“The top four seeds don’t get to host a playoff game,” says the AD, who wished to remain anonymous. “I hope they can change their mind on that. It’s a key flaw.”
Nothing is perfect. And though the latest CFP proposal comes close, there are issues. Sports Illustrated spoke to more than a dozen college administrators to field reaction over a model that, by and large, seems to have captured overwhelming support from the industry’s brass.
For starters, the model provides all 130 FBS teams an opportunity to make the field—different from any other version ever used in college football history. The proposal also guarantees a spot to at least one Group of 5 champion, and it places mandatory importance on winning a conference title, since the four byes are assigned only to the top four league champs.
Also, it still maintains a human element by using rankings from the selection committee and it features an aspect that has never existed in a major college football postseason: on-campus games… [MORE]
USA Today: Opinion: College Football Playoff’s expansion to 12 teams is long overdue – and complicated
For well over a year, expansion of the College Football Playoff has felt inevitable. There was too much dissatisfaction with the system from too many of its constituents, too much lethargy around the same teams making it over and over, too little enthusiasm about even playing in bowl games from teams that missed out on the Playoff.
Something had to change.
And as usual in college sports, it’s changing for the financial benefit of everyone but the players.
That’s not to say Thursday’s announcement from the CFP suggesting a 12-team playoff will be coming in the next few years is bad news. Far from it.
As the flaws of the four-team model have revealed themselves to us since its debut in 2014, playoff expansion not only makes sense but was pretty much an imperative to juice more interest in the sport. Given how stubbornly college football’s old guard held onto the BCS for years and years despite mounting evidence that they needed a playoff, the fact that it’s going to triple in size in less than a decade is nothing short of remarkable. .. [MORE]
USA Today: Two U.S. senators criticize proposed College Football Playoff expansion: ‘cash grab’ that will hurt players
Thursday’s announcement that a College Football Playoff subcommittee is recommending an expansion to 12 teams from the current four seems almost certain to add a new element to the now full-volume debate over the treatment of athletes playing major-college sports.
An expansion of the CFP would trigger a massive increase in schools’ revenue from the event, and while that may be years away, the conversation about it now comes amid ongoing federal legislative actions concerning athletes’ compensation, as well as their health, safety and educational opportunities.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing that had been scheduled to focus on how best to craft a federal law that would expand athletes’ ability to make money from their name, image and likeness (NIL) through activities like endorsement deals, monetizing their social-media followings or getting paid for signing autographs. The NCAA has been pressing for a Congressional solution to an array of recently passed state NIL laws, seven of which would allow NIL activities by athletes, beginning July 1… [MORE]
ESPN: Georgia coach Kirby Smart – 12-team playoff would be college football’s ‘greatest change’
As the College Football Playoff management committee starts to consider a 12-team playoff, Georgia coach Kirby Smart says he believes college football is on track for its biggest change ever.
“Most changes have been relatively small,” Smart told ESPN’s Marty & McGee on Saturday. “With the potential of what’s been proposed … [it’s] probably the greatest change there has been in terms of major college football.”
Smart was one of several coaches to weigh in on the potential of a 12-team playoff, with LSU’s Ed Orgeron calling expansion “inevitable” and saying he is fine with a change that helps the Tigers reach the playoff.
“I think it’s coming,” Orgeron said. “Here’s what I’ve learned: As the older you get, you have to adapt. This game is changing, recruiting is changing, things are changing fast. We just have to adapt. Hey, if they expand, then good. It gives us a chance to get in.” [MORE]
Fired Up: What will playoff expansion do for college football?
“I think as someone who advocated for the movement to four teams, I did not recognize the idea that they’ll just pick favorites; some schools just don’t have a chance. It ended up impacting college football more than even two teams was because there was a sense of exclusion that could be argued between the teams at four and five, or even three and six, people can make an argument they belong in, but they were being excluded… [MORE]