Finally! The College Football Playoff is Reportedly Expanding to 12 Teams

The college football landscape has undergone so much change this summer.

And not just with players entering and leaving the transfer portal. We also saw teams prepare to leave their conferences. Plus, let’s not forget the Big Ten securing a B1G bag of cash for its television rights. It’s been wild to say the least.

But we hadn’t seen much movement in terms of college football’s playoff system … until today. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports the College Football Playoffs Board of Managers has given the green light to expand the postseason:

Thamel and ESPN teammate Heather Dinich are reporting the 12-team model is expected to the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at large schools chosen by a committee. It isn’t perfect, but that represents a solid starting point to determine a champion.

As for when the first year of expanded postseason will begin, it is scheduled to start in 2026. Conveniently enough, that would be the first season after the current contract (which features the current four-team postseason) expires. However, it could start as early as 2024. That would be a pleasant surprise. I suppose there is a chance that it could come sooner than that, but there need to be some motivating factors to push us to that point. And after that, all the necessary parties need to agree on it. This isn’t me saying it can’t get done. However, it is tough for me to envision everyone agreeing on the necessary points to push it through and get us an earlier 12-team playoff. But hey, I like surprises. And if the committee wants to spring one on me, I don’t think I’ll complain.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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