College Football Playoff
FILE - The College Football Playoff logo is shown on the field at AT&T Stadium before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Arlington, Texas, Jan. 1, 2021. The university presidents who oversee the College Football Playoff voted Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, to expand the postseason model for determining a national champion from four to 12 teams no later than the 2026 season. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman, File)

CFP Expanding to 12 Teams

The College Football Playoff is expanding after the board of managers voted Friday to increase the number of teams from four to 12. The expansion is set to go into effect in 2026, but the managers hope the sport’s commissioners will start the new format as soon as 2024, according to an article from ESPN. 

The Breakdown

In an unanimous vote, the original 12 team model was approved. The six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids will compete for the Coaches’ Trophy. More details will be discussed in a meeting, next week.

Back in February, the playoff committee announced they would not be expanding under the current contract. The contract expires in 2025. At first, opposition for an expansion came from the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences. However, with USC and UCLA most likely going to the Big Ten and the conference signing a new TV deal, the issues were put to rest.

What This Means for the Gators?

Obviously, more teams will have the opportunity to compete for a national championship. Programs that have a strong record who barely missed the cut from the fourth playoff spot will now be able to prove their strength on the national stage. No more mediocre bowl games weeks before New Years Day. A shot at the trophy is now a possibility.

For the Gators, an SEC Championship title would be more than enough to get in the playoff. Even an SEC Championship appearance could earn them one of those six at-large bids. Two years ago, when the Gators were narrowly defeated in Atlanta, they might’ve earned one of those 12 spots.

But for the next season or two, the Gators will have to win the SEC to make the CFP. But when the expansion goes into place, the Gators could live with two or three losses. And depending on the strength of wins, the Orange and Blue could find themselves competing for a National Title for the first time since 2008.

 

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