NCAA Playoff Tournament Expansion

NCAA

Announced on September 2nd, the NCAA will expand the playoffs to twelve teams instead of four. This could reshape the league as we know it and allow for many other teams to have a chance at the national title.

While the main point of the recent changes was the expansion from four to twelve teams. There were many rule tweaks and other possible changes that the committee will look into in the future. This could also change many narratives going on in college football at the moment.

Rule Changes

Obviously, the biggest point to look into is the NCAA playoff expansion. It was voted unanimously by the managers that oversee the playoffs to expand to twelve teams. This change will be implemented in 2026, although the board has announced that they will look into implementing this into the 2024 or 2025 season.

The playoffs will consist of six NCAA conference champions and the top-ranked non-conference champion teams. The rankings will still be made through a committee like they have been in the past years. The first and second round games will be played in the first weeks of December.

Along with the expansion change, the rankings committee will tweak the ranking selections to go along with the playoff changes. The bowls will now be assigned depending on the rank of the conference.

To give an example, if the Pac-12 was the highest ranked conference in the league, then they would play in the rose bowl, and the Big 10 would be in a different bowl game.

Changes To The League

For the past years, the Alabama Elephants have had a hold over the NCAA. They are considered to be the best team in the league every year. However, some teams have toppled the juggernaut, like the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs. It almost seems as though Alabama has been in the tournament for as long as fans can remember.

This can completely change with the addition of a longer schedule, as it gives teams around the league a fighting chance. Underdogs make great football games, with the longer playoffs, this could cause more fatigue in stronger teams.

As we see more in the NFL, the best teams can get tired throughout the playoffs and lose to teams they shouldn’t. The NCAA playoffs will continue to be single-game elimination making it clear that each team needs to show up to every game ready to play.

This also could lead to the rise in other conferences along with Alabama. The Pac-12 has been considered the best conference in the league for years. The expansion allows for conferences like the Big 10 and the SEC to prove themselves.

As fans look toward the new NCAA bracket, the league as a whole will be changed for the better.

 


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