College Football Playoff rumors: Rampant realignment won’t change the 12-team format

As Oregon State and Washington State try to figure out their future, it seems like the College Football Playoff will not change their system amid conference realignment

2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

According to CBS Sports college football insider Dennis Dodd, the College Football Playoff is expected to keep the same 12-team college football format regardless of what happens with the Pac-2. In short, the six automatic berths for conference champions plus six at-large berths will remain the selection process for the 12-team CFP field.

Oregon State and Washington State's futures are still unknown after Cal and Stanford left for the ACC. It has been rumored that the two schools will end up joining the Mountain West or try to rebuild the Pac-12 with schools from that conference.

The 12-team College Football Playoff system set to begin in 2024 will have the top-six ranked conference champions and six at-large bids awarded to the highest-ranked non-conference champions in the CFP rankings.

If the format were to be changed, the 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director would all agree to change it. That seems unlikely given the time it took to reach the current agreement in place for the 12-team playoff.

College Football Playoff rumors: 12-team format not changing amid realignment

With the six automatic bids to the CFP being seemingly set in stone, some might wonder about the possibility of teams being snubbed from the 12-team playoff field.

That's not too much of a concern, however. In a 12-team playoff field, any team that truly deserves to be in the bracket would be near impossible to leave out, even if they don't win a conference championship. That's not to say it will never happen in this format, but the six at-large bids and simply the expanded size of the field makes it difficult to envision.

One of the big concerns about the 12-team format would certainly be a potential devaluing of some bowl games. While most New Year's Six bowls will have a part in the College Football Playoff, there will be other bowl games looking for big brands that may not have access with the expanded CFP field going forward.

There might not be a perfect playoff system. However, the expansion to 12 teams does, without question, greatly diminish the possibility of a true national championship contender being left out if they've proven they deserve a shot.

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