The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams

Tripp Buhler, Staff Writer

The biggest news in college football history was announced on December 1: The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams beginning in the 2024-2025 season, answering the prayers of the college football world.

The CFP was supposed to revolutionize the sport back in 2014, taking over the Bowl Championship System. The CFP started with four teams, featuring two semifinal games that took place in a rotation of New Year’s Six bowls (formerly the BCS bowls), capped off with the CFP National Championship.

While the four-team playoff was welcomed with open arms, it has silently ruined the mindset of teams and fans alike. From 1998 to 2013, a BCS bowl berth was what teams had their eyes on, as eight teams qualified, along with the top two teams playing for the National Championship. 

In 2014, the CFP started shifting the goal from being a top 10 team to a top four team. While a New Year’s Six bowl is nothing to scoff at, teams will settle for nothing less than having their name as the answer to the critical question, “Who’s In?”. If you’re not in the top four on Selection Sunday, your season looks to many like a failure.

An expansion has been talked about since the announcement of a four-team playoff but has ramped up in recent years. The main complaint has been the repetition of teams competing for the CFP title. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State have been 20 of the 32 teams selected for the playoff. The lack of conference equality is also relevant in the conversation, as the PAC-12 has only had two appearances, while the SEC has had 10 in only eight playoffs. 

Along with the announcement of the expansion, the committee announced the structure of the new playoff. All six Power Five conference champions will be awarded a spot, as well as the top ranked Group of Five champion. The remaining six spots will be awarded to at-large teams as the CFP Committee sees fit. The top four seeds will receive byes.

The expanded playoff will also give fans a new taste of playoff logistics, as the first round will be played at the home stadiums of the higher ranked teams. The current New Year’s Six bowls will rotate between quarter and semifinal matchups. 

The 12-team playoff will forever change the college football landscape, ideally for the better. It will take time to get used to, as did the original playoff, but the entire college football community is excited to see what the future brings.