Some of us are done with the 2023 college football season. Sure, there is one more game. Unlike last season, it might be a good one. But, with the Alabama Football season over, some Crimson Tide fans have their attention focused on next season.
Aiding the transition to next season is that at least one source has already published a 'Way Too Early' Top 25. Thanks to Steve Lassan and Athlon Sports, debate can begin over next season's best teams.
Lassan cannot be faulted if his 'too early' proves to be a bad predictor. None of us, including many 'always-confused' AP Poll voters are very good at ranking teams. Once rosters for 2024 are set in the fall, ranking guesses will be more reliable.
For fun, let's use Lassan's Top 25 ranking and presume that next December the CFP Selection Committee will rank teams exactly the same. Doing so provides a 12-team Playoff projection for next season.
Based on Lassan's ranking the five automatic qualifiers will be SEC Champion Georgia, Big Ten Champion Michigan, ACC Champion Clemson, Big 12 Champion Utah and some 'other conference champion.' The at-large teams, seeded as ranked would be Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Ole Miss, Missouri and Penn State. Gaining first round byes would be Georgia, Michigan, Clemson and Utah.
2024 Season CFP Week 1 - Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21
- Alabama Football at home vs. the Group of Five participation trophy team
- Texas at home vs. Penn State
- Ohio State at home vs. Missouri
- Oregon at home vs. Ole Miss
2024 Season CFP Week 2 Quarterfinals - Tuesday, Dec. 31 and Wednesday, Jan. 1
Alabama vs. Utah; Clemson vs. Texas - Penn State winner; Michigan vs. Ohio State - Missouri winner; Georgia vs. Oregon - Ole Miss winner
2024 Season CFP Week 3 Semifinals - Thursday, Jan. 9 and Friday, Jan. 10
If the highest-ranked teams advance, the final four would be Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Michigan. Georgia would get Michigan in the semis while Alabama would play Texas. The National Championship Game will be on Monday, Jan. 20.
What SEC football fans will love and other college football fans will hate is SEC teams gaining five of the 12 slots. The Big Ten gets four teams, the ACC and the Big 12 one each, plus the one 'other' team that feeds the illusion that 12 teams (or more) are National Championship contenders.
Note: Schedules provided by collegefootballplayoff.com