CFP Expansion: It's bound to happen at some point. I think we can all agree that the College Football Playoff will increase to more than four teams in the future.
Last week, a step towards the type of expansion we might see was revealed. A 12-team format was introduced for consideration going forward. There is still a lot to be done before we will see that model implemented.
First off, all the powers that be have to agree to go to 12. There could be some changes before the vote of confidence comes. Then, the choice of when to put the new system in place must be decided upon.
It appears that regardless of the number it will be at least a few years before it comes to fruition.
The ESPN contract with the current four-team model expires at the end of the 2025 season. It is possible that an amendment to that deal could be enacted prior to the end of the 12-season run.
Expectations were by many that the next step in the playoff would be an increase from four to six or eight teams. The 12-team idea is a little bit of a surprise. After hearing of the proposal, I actually don't dislike it.
I don't care for the automatic bids for Power 5 champions. That has been a constant coversation piece with expansion. I still believe in picking the best teams. Winning your conference doesn't necessarily mean your among the best.
Unlike the NCAA Tournament in basketball, we aren't picking 68 teams. College football needs to be a more selective process.
Picking six conference champions that are the highest rated still brings validity to conference championship games - for all conferences. It also keeps lowly rated title winners out or those that claim a championship in a conference that was weaker.
I like the idea of the top four teams getting bye weeks in the first round. That helps keep the regular season significant. Still, for those teams that normally would be out of the mix with a couple of losses, they can still possibly get in.
Winning it all will be tougher for the last teams in. They'll play the extra round with half playing on the road in hostile environments.
If you want to avoid that fate, be one of the top four. At least you're in at 10-2. It's akin to falling into the losers' bracket in a double-elimination tournament in other sports.
Another element of college football that will be preserved is the bowl season. The "play-in" games are proposed to be played between conference championship games and the Jan. 1 bowls. That is usually a dead period, so it can work.
If this plan all comes together, it will do what college football wants it do. It will bring more money. Plus, it will quieten those who say the little guys have no chance.
One thing expanding the CFP is not guaranteed to do - change the outcome. It does open the door for more teams, but it's unlikely that in most years that it will matter.