What would a 12-team format for the College Football Playoff look like?

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FILE – In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, Alabama coach Nick Saban leads the team to the field before an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Saban and Alabama opened spring practice Friday, March 19, 2021l with an immediate goal. Along with winning another national championship, that is. For now, they need to find replacements for three of college football’s top offensive weapons. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Since switching from the Bowl Championship Series to the College Football Playoff in 2014, many college football fans and analysts have argued on the format the playoff system has and should take.

According to an article from Pete Thamel with Yahoo! Sports, a switch is in talks from the current four-team format, to a 12-team playoff. This after speaking with athletic directors, university officials, and more involved in college sports.

Thamel reports the 12-team playoff is favored over switching to an eight-team format; if the CFP ends up switching formats at all.

Let’s play some ball with this idea of a 12-team playoff

So, what if the CFP format is changed? What will that look like? Who would’ve made it last season?

“The basic thought is automatic bids for the five major conferences and one for the highest ranked Group of Five champion,” Thamel’s article cites. “The other six spots would be at-large bids.

“The thought is that the first four teams would get a bye and teams No. 5 to No. 8 would host teams No. 9 through 12 at home sites.”

If that were the case for the 2021 College Football Playoffs, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State, and No. 4 Notre Dame would have earned themselves a bye.

Then, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 Florida, and No. 8 Cincinnati would play at home in the first round. They would end up hosting No. 9 Georgia, No. 10 Iowa State, No. 11 Indiana, and No. 12 Coastal Carolina.

That would mean four SEC teams would make up the CFP in 2021. For perspective, since the CFP began, an SEC team has won four times; three wins by Alabama, and one by LSU. The rest were won by Ohio State (1), and Clemson (2).

The biggest takeaway for Tennessee football fans is that if this change is made, the Vols’ chances would increase to get a shot at the title. The Vols haven’t played in a college football national championship game since winning it all in 1998.

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