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.
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.
The College Football Playoff selection committee released its second set of rankings on Tuesday night, so I will be using those to determine conference champions and at-large teams for this exercise. If there are fewer than six conferences represented in the rankings, I will project however many are needed to get to six.
This week, the CFP selection committee decided to leave well enough alone. The only changes in the top 10 of the rankings this week were Oklahoma dropping out, while Ole Miss and Penn State moved up a spot. Ole Miss moving up creates a first-round matchup as the Rebels have drawn Alabama.
Louisville joins the party as this week's No. 11-ranked team. Meanwhile, Tulane moved up to No. 22 in this week's CFP Rankings. After Air Force's loss to Army, the Green Wave are the only Group of Five team represented in the rankings.
Let's take a look at how the 12-team playoff would look through nine full weeks of the 2023 season.
(9) Ole Miss at (8) Alabama
Winner advances to play (1) Ohio State*
(11) Louisville at (6) Oregon*
Winner advances to play (3) Florida State*
(10) Penn State at (7) Texas
Winner advances to play (2) Georgia*
* Projected conference champion