College Football Playoff Expansion Top 12 Projection, 2022 Version After Week 9
The College Football Playoff powers-that-be continue to hem and haw about the minutiae of how to make an expanded version happen, but it’s coming.
There’s too much money on the table to not figure this out for the 2024 season to take this thing to 12.
Again, the basics – 12 teams, top six ranked conference champions, six at large teams, top four conference champs get a bye, and – most likely – the first round will be played at the home parks of the higher seeds.
The full explanation is at the bottom of this, but what if the playoff was expanded for this season? Here’s how it would look at the moment, and as you can see, it’s not as easy as it might seem to get into the top 12.
Top Four Projected Seeds After Week 8 (top four conference champions)
1. Georgia (SEC): Sugar Bowl
2. Ohio State (Big Ten): Rose Bowl
3. Clemson (ACC): Orange Bowl
4. TCU (Big 12): Cotton Bowl
12. Cincinnati (AAC Champion) at
5. Tennessee (SEC)
11. Wake Forest (ACC) at
6. Michigan (Big Ten)
10. USC (Pac-12) at
7. Alabama (SEC)
9. Oklahoma State (Big 12) at
8. Oregon (Pac-12 Champion)
Top Five Teams That Would Be Left Out
UCLA (Pac-12), Penn State (Big Ten), Utah (Pac-12), Ole Miss (SEC), Syracuse (ACC)
Here’s how it’s going to work (this is from the College Football Playoff):
1. The 12 teams will be the six conference champions ranked highest by the selection committee (no minimum ranking requirement), plus the six highest-ranked teams not included among the six highest-ranked conference champions.
2. The ranking of the teams will continue to be done by a selection committee whose size, composition, and method of selection will remain substantially unchanged.
3. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and each will receive a first-round bye.
4. The other eight teams will play in the first round with the higher seeds hosting the lower seeds either on campus or at other sites designated by the higher-seeded institution (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8.
5. The model allows for first-round games to be played on either the second or third weekend in December in a way that best accommodates the format and the participating teams, with at least 12 days between the conference championship games and the first-round games. The Management Committee would make the final determination of the calendar.
6. Subject to reaching agreement with bowls, the four quarterfinal games and two Playoff Semifinal games would be played in bowls on a rotating basis.
7. The national championship game will continue to be played at a neutral site.
8. Subject to reaching agreement with bowls, the four highest-ranked conference champions will be assigned to quarterfinals bowls on selection day in ranking order, and in consideration of current contract bowl relationships if those bowls are selected for the rotation. For example, if the Pac-12 champion were ranked #1, the Big Ten champion were ranked #3, and the Rose Bowl were a quarterfinal site, the Pac-12 champion would be assigned to the Rose Bowl and the Big Ten champion would be assigned elsewhere.
9. With the four highest-ranked champions assigned to quarterfinal games in bowls, the opponent from first-round game winners will be assigned by the selection committee based on the bracket.
10. The higher seeds would receive preferential placement in the Playoff Semifinal games.