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NCAAF · 21 days ago

What A 12-Team College Football Playoff Could Look Like

TJ Inman

TJ Inman

What A 12-Team College Football Playoff Could Look Like

The current four-team College Football Playoff format ends after the 2023 season. Beginning next year, college football will have a 12-team playoff. There are still a few details to be worked out, but the format most believe will be adopted is as follows: the top four teams get a bye, with seeds five through twelve having first-round games at on-campus sites. The higher seed would host each first-round matchup, and the winners would advance to the waiting top four seeds in the quarterfinals. The plan is to pick the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked teams at large.

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What would the bracket look like if the 12-team playoff was in place for this college football season? If results for the remainder of this season were to play out as expected, who would get a bye? Which teams would be hosting first-round games?

Seed Team
1-seed Georgia Bulldogs (SEC Champion)
2-seed Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten Champion)
3-seed Florida State Seminoles (ACC Champion)
4-seed Oregon Ducks (PAC-12 Champion)

There would be an argument about what to do with the PAC-12 and Big 12, as Texas and Oregon would have one loss and be conference champions. Oregon gets the nod with a better win over the Texas Longhorns in the conference championship game.

The first-round games would be fascinating on-campus matchups.

Seeds Teams
12-seed at 5-seed Tulane (AAC Champion) at Texas (Big 12 Champion)
11-seed at 6-seed Louisville (at-large) at Ohio State (at-large)
10-seed at 7-seed Penn State (at-large) at Washington (at-large)
9-seed at 8-seed Missouri (at-large) at Alabama (at-large)

The Texas Longhorns don’t get the first-round bye but get to host the Tulane Green Wave in Round 1. Louisville would be 11-2 if they won out in the regular season and then lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. They would travel to 11-1 Ohio State, the best at-large team in the field. Penn State would be 10-2 and travel to 12-1 Washington, while Missouri would round out the bracket at Alabama. Those are conference foes, but they have not played in 2023, and the Tigers would be 10-2, with the Crimson Tide sitting at 11-2 after a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. 

This season is the last one where hypothetical brackets will be required. Whether you love or hate it, the 12-team playoff begins next season.

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