After a few days of speculation, the College Football Playoff confirmed that it is considering expanding the field from four teams to 12 teams.
: 12-Team Playoff Proposed by College Football Playoff Working Group
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) June 10, 2021
Heather Dinich of ESPN has a more robust article if you’re so inclined to know the gritty details, but the important parts are:
1. The earliest the playoff would expand is the 2023 season, but there is no timetable at this point.
2. *The six highest ranked conference champions would make the playoff, with the remaining six spots going to at-large bids deemed by the CFP committee.
3. This is just the first step. Obviously, this won’t be settled for quite a while, with there needing to be approvals from the rest of the committee, conference commissioners, and university presidents too.
*The top four overall seeds get a bye, and yes, Notre Dame would be ineligible for a bye since they are losers who won’t join a conference.
Whether you’re in favor of expansion or not, this is likely only a good thing for Penn State — a program that hasn’t been able to get over the CFP hump, but yet, has been on the cusp for almost half a decade. As RedditCFP pointed out, Penn State would have made the field in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
- 2016: No. 12 Western Michigan at No. 5 Penn State
- 2017: No. 9 Penn State at No. 8 USC
- 2018: No. 12 Penn State at No. 5 Georgia
- 2019: No. 10 Penn State at No. 7 Baylor
The issue for college football is that it isn’t college basketball — i.e., bizarre upsets largely don’t happen. I love the sport, but how often will we see a seed outside the top six in the final four? Maybe once every three years?
Granted, I’m an old curmudgeon who if given the chance to go back to pre-BCS days or a 12-team playoff, I would take pre-BCS days. But as far as programs that will benefit the most from this potential expansion, Penn State is certainly up there.