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Report: College Football Playoff Expected to Expand to 14 Teams in 2026 - CFB Tracker

Keep up to date with all the latest news surrounding the Ole Miss Rebels and college football.

MARCH 14 MORE PLAYOFF EXPANSION The new structure for the College Football Playoff has yet to see the field of play, but it seems that the field will soon be expanded once again past its new 12-team format.

According to reports from ESPN, talks are now in the "final stages" for the College Football Playoff deal that begins in 2026, opening the door for a 14-team playoff format.

"This sets the stage for an expected 14-team playoff to start in the 2026 season, although the deal being agreed to does not specifically set a format other than saying the playoff will be at least 12 teams," ESPN wrote. "The format will be decided at a later date, per sources.

"The details of what's expected to be a 14-team field won't be determined until after the TV deal is done," the story later stated.

The new 12-team format that will begin with the 2024 season will feature five automatic qualifiers (the five highest-ranked conference champions) and seven at-large bids, but the qualifiers for the potential 14-team field are still to be determined.

Ole Miss has high hopes of reaching the newly-expanded CFP field this season, holding some of the top betting odds to make the playoff and coming in as a top-10 team in multiple way-too-early top 25 projections.

FEB 26 ALEX FAULK TO NC STATE Ole Miss Rebels staffer Alex Faulk is reportedly joining the staff of the NC State Wolfpack, reported on Monday.

Faulk was the head of high school and junior college relations at Ole Miss, and his new position is expected to be as NC State's director of recruiting.

FEB 11 A 'SUPER' INTRO FOR PATRICK WILLIS Former Ole Miss Rebels linebacker Patrick Willis was recently named to the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, a fraternity that earned some recognition at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

This is a big moment for all the inductees, but it seemed that Willis received the strongest ovation from the group, thanks in large part to his former San Francisco 49ers participating in the game on Sunday.

You can view the video below.

While in college, Willis accumulated 177 solo tackles and a whopping 265 total tackles alongside six sacks and two forced fumbles.

The Ole Miss legend was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019, becoming one of 10 Rebels to be admitted as a player or coach, and was also part of the 2023 Southeastern Conference Football Legends class. Willis led the SEC in tackles twice, was named a consensus All-American his senior year, and was awarded the Conerly Trophy that same season. 

JAN 28 OLE MISS HIRES NEW TE COACH The Ole Miss Rebels made another addition to their staff on Sunday, as former Alabama Crimson Tide tight end coach Joe Cox is set to take the same position in Oxford, per On3. Cox, a former quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, is the replacement for John David Baker, who departed Ole Miss in December to become the next offensive coordinator for the East Carolina Pirates.

Cox spent the last two seasons on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, and was the tight ends coach for the Charlotte 49ers in 2021. From 2016-19, Cox coached tight ends for the Colorado State Rams.

JAN 27 NEW ASST. COACH FOR THE REBELS The Ole Miss Rebels are set to hire the Illinois Fighting Illini's George McDonald as wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator, reports indicated on Saturday.

McDonald is an alum of Illinois where he played the wideout position for the Fighting Illini from 1995-98. He just completed his fourth season as the team's wide receivers coach and assistant head coach.

He helped the Illinois offense (led by former Ole Miss QB Luke Al rank as one of the best in the Big Ten in 2023, as the Illini finished in the top five in the conference in passing (3rd), total yards (t-4th), and scoring (5th) and led the Big Ten West in all three categories.

JAN 16 BJORK TO OHIO STATE OFFICIAL According to Pete Thamel, former Ole Miss Rebels athletic director Ross Bjork has officially been hired by the Ohio State Buckeyes.

You can read the report about his potential hire below.

JAN 15 FORMER OLE MISS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR NO. 1 TARGET FOR OHIO STATE Former Ole Miss and Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork has reportedly emerged as the primary target in Ohio State's search for a new athletic director, according to Pete Thamel via X (formerly Twitter).

Bjork previously served as Ole Miss' Director of Athletics and Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics from 2012-19 before he left for the same position with the Aggies ahead of the 2019 season. Bjork has been with Texas A&M since, and his most notable move with the program was signing Jimbo Fisher to a lucrative 10-year contract extension worth $95 million. Bjork was with Ole Miss for the Hugh Freeze debacle and hired his replacement, Matt Luke, in 2017.