The Wider World

12-team football playoff for ’23?

THE COLLEGE COLLEGE FOOTBALL playoff could be expanded to 12 teams by 2023 (Shutterstock).

First there were four. Soon there may be 12.

On Thursday the College Football Playoff Organization announced it would consider tripling the number of teams that could participate in a top-level post-season tournament.

According to the Associated Press, the proposal calls for six spots to be given to the highest-ranked conference champions and six to at-large teams.

The popularity of the four-team playoff has decreased, reports AP, because a few teams – such as Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma – dominate the small playoff field. Having only the “top four” compete reduces the chance of a “Cinderella” underdog team challenging for a crown, such as has happened recently in the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament.

The soonest such a switch could take place would be for the 2023 season.

As described by the AP, the four top-rated conference champions would get a first-round bye and quarterfinals and semifinals would be hosted by bowl games.

According to Sports Illustrated, adding a longer tournament to the end of the season might require that major college football games start earlier, perhaps in August. That’s when many colleges and universities have not begun classes.

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