When it comes to the proposed new College Football Playoff structure, the Pac-12 might be more vulnerable than its Power 5 constituents.
Earlier this afternoon, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde reported that the College Football Playoff working group is recommending expanding the playoff field from four teams to 12.
“The CFP working group is recommending a 12-team playoff: 6 highest-ranked conference champs & 6 at-large,” Dellenger tweeted. “The 4 highest-ranked champs get a bye while other 8 play 1st-round games on campus. Long way from done, but this is the recommendation.”
As soon as this news hit, the comments began rolling in about the Pac-12. Because the reported proposal does not explicitly protect the Power 5 champions, there are some who think the Pac-12 could still wind up being shut out.
In fact, if the new model had been in effect last season, Oregon would have been left out as it finished 25th in the final CFP rankings, behind the champs of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, AAC and Sun Belt and too low to be considered for an at-large berth.
This recommendation does not protect Power Five champs, which means the Pac-12 champ is not guaranteed anything. https://t.co/xNS1xpPm39
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) June 10, 2021
Also, had the currently-speculated model been in place last season, the PAC-12 still wouldn’t have gotten in.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) June 10, 2021
Pac-12 reading that it’s just the top 6 conference champs and not each P5 pic.twitter.com/6vtf4VtR77
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) June 10, 2021
The Pac-12 will be wanting a 24-team Playoff before you know it! https://t.co/hDoKOh8t9z
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) June 10, 2021
The Pac-12 not ensuring they get an auto-bid is so Pac-12. The league wouldn’t have sent a team in 2020 if that’s how the field was set up.
— Matt Prehm (@MattPrehm) June 10, 2021
I just hope the Pac-12 makes a 12 team playoff. Fingers crossed.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) June 10, 2021
Now, to be fair to the Pac-12 for a second, more often than not, the champion of the league will be included in the expanded playoff.
However, as last year proved, it would be possible for the somewhat forgotten member of the Power 5 to be left out.
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