College Football Playoff expected to keep format for expanded 12-team bracket despite conference realignment.
College Football Playoff expected to keep format for expanded 12-team bracket despite conference realignment
Despite the ongoing conference realignment, the agreed-upon 12-team College Football Playoff format is expected to remain unchanged for the 2024 season. Any changes to the format would require an unanimous vote from the CFP Management Committee, which consists of 10 commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director. The 2024 structure will include the six highest-ranked conference champions as automatic qualifiers, along with six at-large teams receiving playoff bids. However, there are alternative models being discussed, such as reducing the number of automatic qualifiers or selecting the top 12 teams regardless of conference championship status.
Concerns over conference realignment and alternative models
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of FBS conferences due to conference realignment, it would be difficult to reach a consensus on which conferences deserve automatic qualifier status. The original idea behind guaranteeing spots to the six highest-ranked conference champions was to provide access to both Power Five and Group of Five conference champions. However, there have been informal suggestions of alternative models, including reducing the number of automatic qualifiers or selecting the top 12 teams based solely on rankings. American commissioner Mike Aresco is against any changes that would reduce the number of automatic berths, while SEC commissioner Greg Sankey favors a structure with 12 at-large teams.
Future considerations and upcoming meeting
After the 2025 season, the structure and format of the 12-team playoff will be up for consideration, including the 6+6 model. The CFP Management Committee will gather for a two-day meeting in Chicago where alternate models may be proposed. However, it would only take one dissenting vote to maintain the agreed-upon structure. The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the future of the playoff and address concerns raised by conference realignment.
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