Finally, the College Rugby Round is expanding. After a decade four-team tournament to determine the national champion FBS, the field will triple from the 2026 season. According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the CFP Board of Directors approved the addition of eight teams to the annual post-season clash on Friday. The switch comes after years of lobbying to get more teams into college football’s flagship event.
The change has yet to be officially announced but several reports online say the CFP board is considering increasing eight teams throughout this week. The decision-making committee includes 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported this week that there is a “50/50 chance” a vote has even taken place. Looks like it’s quickly coming to fruition. CFP’s Current contract lasts until 2025 and was approved in February. The exact start date of the 12-team playoffs has yet to be determined by the committee.
No further details on how the 12 teams were selected, how that would impact the New Year’s Six, or whether campus locations will host the games have been announced. The easy thing would be to simply expand the existing bowl system already in place. The top four teams, in the opinion of the CFP purists, who do not want to expand, will say goodbye to the first round. The 5th seed will host the 12th seed, with identical seeding matches taking place in the traditional first round of the NCAA Tournament, on the college campus. In the quarterfinals, the 1st seed will face the lowest remaining seed to advance to the first round. The top team will also get the first pick out of the four teams that aren’t in the semi-finals, etc. After that, the current CFP pattern will play out for the rest of the season.
Not so much about how New Year Six chooses the team need to change to have a CFP dozens of teams. The Power Five Conference champions and the best Team Five team automatically take half the field. Individual bowl ties, like the Sugar Bowl’s demand for a Big 12 vs SEC match, are gone forever. The remaining six places will go to the top six remaining teams in the final playoff standings, regardless of conference. Teams’ The CFP seed must also be in the order of the final standings, even if a champion who didn’t attend the conference is bid farewell and a Power Five champion must play a real road game in the first round. .
This is a great move for college football. Even if the same schmucks that play in the CFP seemingly every season make the semifinals, getting to watch underdogs and fresh matchups will make that more palatable. At least Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson would have to remove some candidates to their crown.