Fastest way for CFB Playoff to grow to 14 or 16 teams

For college football fans wanting another expansion of the CFB Playoff field, there is a sure way to get there after the 2024 season.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Was the CFB Playoff braintrust wrong to make a jump to 14 or 16 teams? Some college football fans thought so at the time the decision was made. Many more may agree after the 2024 college football season.

An explosion of opinion may occur when the Selection Committee announces its 12-team field in December. It would be triggered by the equivalent of a seismic event - five SEC football teams making the Playoff field. Five SEC teams would almost guarantee no at-large teams from the Big 12 or the ACC. The Big 12's Brett Yormark would no doubt have an extreme response and become a full-throated proponent of going to 16 teams in the 2025 season.

It would also fuel discontent among ACC schools, likely adding more to the exit ramp queue led by Florida State, Clemson, and North Carolina.

The likelihood of five SEC teams making the Playoffs is slight. The simple reason is the pushback that would ensue. But some college football pundits are already talking about why it might happen. Pete Futiak of College Football News recently wrote, "Five SEC teams will get into the College Football Playoff... assume Georgia, LSU, and Texas will get that 10-2 mark or better, and two more out of Alabama, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Tennessee will find their way in."

Futiak acknowledged he was making a 'Bold' prediction. Bold yes; some may say 'extreme' is a better description, but depending on actual game performances, the SEC may have so many strong teams it will deserve five Playoff spots.

If the predicted rankings below prove close to how teams finish in December, excluding a fifth SEC team would be a timid response to the fear of backlash.

At No. 13, LSU may not be seen in the attached image. With the Bengal Tigers, there are nine SEC teams in the Top 20. An interesting coincidence is that nine of the Top 20 is 45% of the teams. And 45% of a CFB Playoff 12-team field is 5-plus (5.4) teams.

The odds are small five SEC teams will end up in the first 12-team field. But if it happens, the explosion that will follow would rock the college football world.

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