Beginning in 2024, a 12-team playoff will commence. The controversial format grants automatic bids to the six highest-ranked conference champions, gives first-round byes to the highest ranked four champions, and completes the field with six at-large selections. No at-large can earn a bye.
First-round games, between seeds 5 through 12, are to be played on campus or at a location designated by the higher seed. In other words, should a team like Wake Forest get in and be a higher seed in the first round, they might be convinced to play in Carolina Panthers’ stadium rather than in the Demon Deacons’ 31,500 capacity stadium.
If a 12-team Playoff was held this season with the guidelines laid out above, the following is what it would look like under the current format:
- Georgia (SEC champion) - Ranked #1 by the CFP Committee
- Michigan (Big Ten champion) #2
- Clemson (ACC champion) #7
- Utah (Pac-12 champion) #8
- TCU (Big 12 at-large) #3
- Ohio State (Big Ten at-large) #4
- Alabama (SEC at-large) #5
- Tennessee (SEC at-large) #6
- Kansas State (Big 12 champion) #9
- Southern Cal (Pac-12 at-large) #10
- Penn State (Big Ten at-large) #11
- Tulane (Top ranked non-Power 5 conference champ) #16
The first round is played at the home stadium of the higher seeds or at a location designated by them.
#9 Kansas State at #8 Tennessee - Winner gets Georgia
#10 Southern Cal at #7 Alabama - Winner gets Michigan
#11 Penn State at #6 Ohio State - Winner gets Clemson
#12 Tulane at #5 TCU - Winner gets Utah
ROUND 2 - QUARTERFINALS:
The next two rounds are played at predesignated bowls with preference going to the higher seed. For this experiment, we will pick the hypothetical Round 1 winners and hypothetical locations that we think the higher seed team might select.
#8 Tennessee at #1 Georgia in Atlanta, GA
#7 Alabama at #2 Michigan in Indianapolis, IN
#5 TCU at #4 Utah in Pasadena, CA
#6 Ohio State at #3 Clemson in Arlington, TX
ROUND 3 - SEMIFINALS:
Atlanta winner vs Pasadena winner in New Orleans, LA
Indianapolis winner vs Arlington winner in Glendale, AZ
The Championship Game would be played at a predesignated location and could not be changed. For kicks, we’ll put it in Miami, FL.
- The most glaring issue is that 7th ranked Clemson would get the 3-seed and a first round bye over several teams that are better than the Tigers. Same could be said for 4-seed Utah.
- Kansas State and Utah would both get in with three losses. All the Utes would have to do is win a very winnable home game against TCU or Tulane by one point and they are in the final four.
- A guaranteed spot for a non-Power-5 conference champ is a crock. Two-loss Tulane gets in over Washington, Florida State, and Oregon - three teams that would probably smoke them. God bless the Green Wave but I’m not so sure they could beat any SEC team (yes, ANY).
- If Tulane had lost on Saturday, the next up would be #24 Troy or possibly 3-loss UCF.
- Notre Dame is ranked #21 but had they gone undefeated and beat every team by four touchdowns, the highest they could be seeded is fifth. Independent teams cannot be given a first round bye. It sure looks like someone is trying to strongarm the Irish into joining a conference.
Your feelings on this format:
This poll is closed
Stupid, short-sighted, and unfair.
Unfair but I see that they are trying to keep conference championship games relevant.
It is perfect because every conference deserves a chance even if their champ is 6-6.