Playoff
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. Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK

College Football Playoff Could Expand to 14

This year, the College Football Playoff is finally expanding to 12 teams, but this format may be short-lived. College football fans could get a new 14-team CFP as soon as 2026.

The CFP Management Committee met last week and discussed multiple new playoff models with the 14-team format gaining the most traction. The committee is made up of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director. If chosen, the new model would be implemented in 2026 with the new agreed-upon six-year TV contract with ESPN.

What would it look like?

The new proposed model would have a 3-3-2-2-1 and 3 format. This model would give the SEC and Big 10 three automatic bids. Behind them, the ACC and Big 12 would have two and the Group of Five would get one. After these automatic qualifiers are filled, the last three spots would go to the three best remaining teams.

Another option being discussed for this is for Notre Dame to get an automatic bid. To automatically qualify, the Fighting Irish would need to be ranked in the top 14 on selection day. If this is the way the committee goes, if Notre Dame gets a bid, then the last three at large spots would drop to two.

This potential model would allow teams to secure their fate as the top teams would not need to rely on where they are ranked by the committee. The top teams in each conference would be based solely off of their records.

Money Talks

In the four-team playoff model, the Power Five conferences shared 80% of the total revenue. The remaining 20% was shared among the Group of Five conferences. With the expansion of the Big 10 and SEC, these two conferences will look for a larger share of the revenue made. Discussions have involved these two sharing between 25% to 30% of the total revenue.  The ACC and Big 12 would follow making around 15% to 20%, and the remaining conferences would make between 6% and 10%.  Notre Dame would also get about 1% of the playoff revenue.

Nothing has been finalized yet, and other options are still on the table. The committee will look to make a decision soon and make the change by 2026.

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