Alabama Football fans can get excited about the CFB Playoff Management Committee sub-group’s plan for a 12-team Playoff field. With six at-large slots designated, SEC teams and especially the Alabama Crimson Tide will benefit. Even after a two-loss Alabama Football season, the odds would be good the Crimson Tide would gain one of the six at-large berths. A one-loss Crimson Tide will always be a lock.
The CFB Playoff sub-group informally led by the SEC’s Greg Sankey gained consensus quicker than had been expected. There are other decision points before the 12-team plan can become a reality, but it appears any efforts to stay at four teams or expand to eight teams have no chance of sufficient support.
Another program with enhanced Playoff chances in the proposed format is Notre Dame. Thanks to often being overrated, the Fighting Irish will become one-loss locks. Notre Dame was represented in the sub-group by its Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick. Other sub-group members were the Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby and Mountain West Commissioner, Craig Thompson.
Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger broke the news first. A media announcement is expected on Thursday.
The other strong feature of the proposal is the top four seeded teams will get opening-round byes. The SEC Champion is almost assured of being a top-four seed.
There could still be pushback about a few teams each season playing too many games. Another complication is an extra week will be added on the season’s front or back end. There will likely be debate over reducing the regular season to 11 games. It is hard to believe the upper-tier Power Five schools will be willing to give up revenues from a home game.
The schedule of discussions going forward, as reported by Pat Forde, is a presentation to the full Management Committee on June 17-18. The College Football Playoff Board of Managers will meet a week later.
UPDATED Information available here.
Bama Hammer will provide additional details when they are released by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.