College Football Playoff to Expand to 12 Teams in 2026
Pete Thamel of ESPN reports that the College Football Playoff Board of Managers has decided to expand the field of teams to 12. The expectation is that the 12-team field will be implemented in 2026, but they will explore the opportunity for it to begin sooner. The managers cited money as the main reason for the unanimous decision as there is just too much money being left on the table by not expanding the College Football Playoff.
The expansion of the playoff is what everyone has been clamoring for. Since its inception, the playoff has been dominated by Power 5 programs in particular, as Cincinnati’s appearance last season was the first time a Group of 5 team made the four-team field. Of course, there are many hurdles for this to happen, but consider how deep the field would have been last season.
How 12-team playoff would have looked in '21:
1st round 12 *Pitt at 5 UGA 11 *Utah at No. 6 NDame 10 Mich St at No. 7 Ohio St 9 Ok St at No. 8 Ole Miss
Quarters 1 *Bama vs. Ole Miss/Ok St 2 *Michigan vs. Ohio St/MSU 3 *Cincy vs. ND/Utah 4 *Baylor vs. UGA/Pitt
Since we are still years away from expansion, the safest National Champion bets are the top Power 5 teams. However, there may be value on Ohio State at +300 on Fanduel Sportsbook. They have the second-best odds but are arguably the most talented offensive team in the country.
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