Change is coming to the College Football Playoff in a big way next season. The postseason tournament will grow from four teams to 12. As of now, the 12 teams in the bracket will include the six highest-rated conference champions, according to the CFP Rankings, and the next six highest-ranked programs. The top four conference champions will get byes into the quarterfinals. Should fewer than six conferences be represented, I will project however many are needed to get to six.
There is a legitimate chance that format will be adjusted to account for the demise of the Pac-12. That could result in something as simple as guaranteeing playoff spots for only the top five conference champions (with seven at-large bids) or something more drastic, such as doing away with automatic qualifiers entirely.
Washington made its long-awaited jump from No. 5 to No. 4 in this week's edition of the rankings. The selection committee could no longer ignore the growing list of quality wins for the Huskies. The only other change in an otherwise chalky week of results was Oregon State falling out of the top 12 after losing to the Huskies. Penn State moved back in as a result.
No. 23 Tulane is still the highest-ranked Group of Five team in this week's CFP Rankings, but the Green Wave now have company with undefeated Liberty lurking at No. 25. The top line of the bracket would guarantee a spot for one SEC team in the semifinal -- but only one. There are are no other SEC teams in the field.
Let's take a look at how the 12-team playoff would look after the fourth CFP Rankings release of the 2023 season.
(12) Tulane* at (5) Michigan
Winner advances to play (4) Florida State*
(11) Penn State at (6) Oregon*
Winner advances to play (3) Washington*
* Projected conference champion