College Football Playoff considering expansion up to 16 teams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The college football seasons have begun to blend together.

Every season, it seems like a matchup between two of Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson will decide the National Championship along with Oklahoma getting blown out in the semifinals. 

Soon, that may no longer be the case.

The College Football Playoff management committee, which is made up of 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, have discussed "some 63 possibilities for change," per a news release from the organization

Expansion of the playoff to six, eight, ten, 12, and 16 teams were included with a variety of scenarios. Any of these scenarios would create more intrigue for the postseason than currently exists just from simply adding more teams to the party.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN these changes would not happen until 2023 at the earliest. If any alterations happen before the current deal expires in 2025, the CFP Board of Managers would need to unanimously agree to see any change enacted. 

If the field could increase in the coming seasons, that would be best for the sport.

Neutral, third-party fans have to be growing tired of seeing Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and a fourth team make the playoff every season. Alabama and Clemson have missed the playoff once since its inception. The Buckeyes have missed it three times. 

Having just a few teams even get to compete for the title means a disparity between the haves and have-nots grows stronger, as evidenced by recruiting rankings: the top-six classes signed nationally in 2021 were six teams that have all made at least one College Football Playoff. There's a six-point composite score drop-off at six (Oregon) to seven (Texas A&M). 


Expanding the playoff would likely mean every conference champion makes the playoff, ensuring no conference cannibalizes itself out of playoff contention, and more teams have legit chances which can help spread out some of the talents rather than consolidating it at a handful of schools. 

The decision can also allow G5 schools to compete for a national championship rather than always get delegated to the little kids' table in the Peach Bowl. As the system currently stands, the College Football Playoff Committee will likely never rank an undefeated G5 school high enough to qualify for the playoff. 

In the same press release, the committee said it plans to have the 2022 CFP National Championship in Indianapolis with this year's CFP semifinals being the Goodyear Cotton Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl.