Fans stop to take photos with the College Football National Championship trophy at Meijer in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The trophy is going on a tour for fans to see presented by Dr. Pepper.

CFP Approves 5+7 Model For 12-Team Playoff

The College Football Playoff Board of Managers unanimously approved the “5+7” model for the new 12-team playoff format on Tuesday.

The model guarantees a spot in the 12-team playoff for the five highest-ranked conference champions. The next seven highest-ranked teams will round out the spots. Before the amendment, the 12-team playoff consisted of six conference champions and the next six teams, or a “6+6” model.

Additionally, the four highest-ranked conference champions will receive a first-round bye.

Top Five Conference Winners

According to the new 5+7 model, the top-five ranked teams in the playoff will be the top-five ranked conference champions.

Normally, the winner of the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten will make it. Additionally, a Group of 5 school will join.

Heather Dinich, senior writer for ESPN, said that the CFP intentionally did not refer to the Group of 5 in the model. This is because there is a chance that a Power 4 champion ranks lower than a school from a Group of 5 champion.

In 2021, as Dinich credited, Cincinnati ranked No. 4 and won the American Athletic Conference. Pitt, the ACC champion, finished No. 12.

Additionally, Dinich said that the fifth conference champion will not always be from the Group of 5.

Impact of Pac-12 on 12 Team Playoff

The Pac-12, which now consists of Washington State and Oregon State, originally delayed the process for voting on the new playoff model. This was due to the conference realignment.

The Pac-12 lost USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington to the Big Ten. Meanwhile, Cal and Stanford moved to the ACC while Utah, Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado left for the Big 12.

Since neither school can qualify as a conference champion the next two years, a 5+7 format with seven “at-large bids”, or the next seven highest-ranked teams, would be more beneficial than the 6+6 format.

The new College Football Playoff 5+7 format will take place starting the 2024 season.

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