If the College Football Playoff had expanded to 12 teams for this season, Pitt would’ve been in. With a play-in, Wild Card type of sorts to earn a shot at one of the Top 4 seeds, Pitt would’ve had a shot at the national championship.
Obviously, that didn’t happen and a 12 team format is far from certain, but the speculation surrounding a playoff expansion has swirled for a while now. It doesn’t appear that expansion is coming in the near future.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that the College Football Playoff commissioners could not reach a unanimous decision on Monday, leaving many frustrated. With a vote that was apparently far from unanimous, any expansion will likely be delayed until at least 2026 — unless something drastically changes in the weeks to come.
CFP commissioners could not reach unanimity, Bob Bowlsby says. No expansion decision
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) January 10, 2022
ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported that the expansion format, along with revenue distribution, bowl games and automatic bids for Power Five conference champions, have delayed the decision.
The Pac-12 released a statement after the failure to commit to expansion, highlighting the six “most discussion models that would allow for expansion to occur in time for the final two years of the current CFP agreement (the 2024 and 2025 seasons).”
- Qualification for the 12 best teams;
- Automatic qualification (AQs) for the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids (6+6);
- AQs for the Autonomy Five (Power Five) and AQ for the highest-ranked Group of Five champion, along with six at-large bids (5+1+6);
- Qualification for the eight best teams;
- AQs for the six highest-ranked conference champions and two at-large bids (6+2);
- AQs for the Autonomy Five conferences and one AQ for the highest-ranked Group of Five champion, along with two at-large bids (5+1+2)
The Pac-12 announced its strong support of playoff expansion and support for all six of the aforementioned models. However, clearly, the support for expansion is a ways off from the unanimous support required for expansion.
If Pitt wants to make the playoff in 2022, it’ll require a Top 4 ranking at the end of the season.