The College Football Playoff committee met Thursday and reports are surfacing that the playoffs will be expanded to 12 teams beginning in 2023.
The news was first reported Thursday morning by Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated. Forde posted a tweet with the following statement:
"Sources tell @RossDellenger and I: Expect news this afternoon from the College Football Playoff management committee. After a meeting today, a release is coming based on a recommendation for an expanded playoff."
The NCAA expanded the playoffs to four teams in 2013. Ever since then, fans have been clamoring for another expansion. They finally have it, as the playoffs will now include 12 teams if accepted.
Thursday's news brings a submission from the college football management committee, though it is still pending approval. It is expected to be approved with the earliest start coming in 2023, according to Brett McMurphy of Stadium.
This addition doesn't come without subtraction, however. According to McMurphy, there are anywhere from four to 10 bowl games expected to be eliminated by 2023.
The playoff system will consist of 12 teams that include the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams.
Many have clamored for Group of Five schools to be included in the field in recent seasons. Those fans now finally have their wish, as Group of 5 schools such as Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina would have qualified in 2021.
As for programs like Georgia, this removes the fear of the second loss in a season keeping them from pursuing a national title. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Georgia likely would have been in the College Football Playoff under this new format, as opposed to playing in two Sugar Bowls and a Peach Bowl.
It will be interesting to see the committee’s criteria when deciding which schools get at-large bids. Is conference record prioritized? Talent? Notoriety? We will find out in 2023.
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