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College Football Playoff rankings: What the 12-team expanded field looks like

A preview of coming attractions and what to expect when the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams
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Nothing is officially official yet, but the College Football Playoff is expected to expand to 12 teams likely starting in the 2024 football season. 

But right now, with the new top 25 rankings on the books, it's fun to take a look into the future and see what the expanded format would look like.

Rankings: USC moves up in College Football Playoff top 25

Sitting here in College Football Playoff present, let's take a trip to College Football Playoff future and get a glimpse of what could be based on this week's poll.

Here's your look at what the future could hold.

College Football Playoff rankings: What a 12-team expanded field would look like

Ohio State college football team schedule, rankings

First Four In

1. Georgia, SEC champion
2. Ohio State, Big Ten champion
3. TCU, Big 12 champion
4. USC, Pac-12 champion

Under the model approved by the College Football Playoff, the top four seeds are reserved for the four highest-ranked conference champions, and for this exercise we're assuming each league's top-ranked teams would win its conference title.

These four teams would get a first-round bye in the playoff format and not play until the quarterfinals began.

And the rest

5. Michigan (At-large)
6. LSU (At-large)
7. Alabama (At-large)
8. Clemson (ACC champion)
9. Oregon (At-large)
10. Tennessee (At-large)
11. Penn State (At-large)
12. Tulane (AAC champion)

Going by the playoff's expansion proposal, the next six highest-ranked at-large teams are guaranteed berths in the postseason format, as well.

If the season ended right now, Clemson and Tulane would be the highest-ranked conference champions outside the top four of the rankings.

And from there, the six highest-ranked remaining teams would be included.

College Football Playoff expanded schedule

Michigan Wolverines college football team schedule, rankings

First Round Games

Tulane at Michigan
Penn State at LSU
Tennessee at Alabama
Oregon at Clemson

The expanded playoff will feature a set of first-round games played on the campus of the schools ranked No. 5 through No. 8 in the third week of December.

Quarterfinal Round

TCU vs. Penn State/LSU
USC vs. Michigan/Tulane
Ohio State vs. Alabama/Tennessee
Georgia vs. Clemson/Oregon

The expanded playoff wants to incorporate the existing New Year's bowl games into hosting the quarterfinal and semifinal games, with the goal to play the quarterfinal round on Jan. 1 itself.

Semifinal Round

Ohio State or Alabama or Tennessee vs. TCU or LSU or Penn State


Georgia or Clemson or Oregon vs. USC or Michigan or Tulane

The semifinal will likely be played during the week in order to avoid a scheduling conflict with the NFL Wild Card Weekend, something college football doesn't want. 

Likewise, the National Championship Game will be played on a weeknight to avoid going against the NFL Divisional Round.

College Football Playoff predictions

First Round: Michigan defeats Tulane, LSU defeats Penn State, Alabama defeats Tennessee, Clemson defeats Oregon

Quarterfinal Round: LSU defeats TCU, Michigan defeats USC, Alabama defeats Ohio State, Georgia defeats Clemson

Semifinal Round: Alabama over LSU, Georgia over Michigan

National Championship: Georgia over Alabama

More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | All Teams

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