2 min read

A 14 Team Playoff

If we're hearing about it, then it must be on the table. A concerted leak across the Athletic, ESPN, Yahoo and more means it's coming. Yesterday it was widely shared that on the heels of officialy accepted a 5+7 model for 2024 and 2025, the renewal proposal for 2026 onward is a 14 team playoff with guaranteed bids by league.

  1. 3 each for the Big Ten and SEC
  2. 2 each for the Big 12 and ACC
  3. 1 G5 bid
  4. 3 at large bids

Being uneven access across power leagues is not ideal. But unfortunately there ain't a lot of leverage right now. This as much better than the alternative of the Big Ten and SEC just breaking off entirely. And realistically with a 12 team field, the Big Ten and SEC are most likely taking almost all of the at-large bids anyway - so this gives us 2 every year. Back of the napkin math on the proposal and estimated contract for a 14 team deal would pay out ~16.5mm per Big 12 team annually.

For the ACC - this may keep FSU in there where they have a clear playoff path every year (same with Clemson). They will not be making as much money, but they have the boosters to fund NIL (and pay players when that finally drops) so long run this may be keep it together. When it falls apart still, it sure feels like the Big 10 and SEC are gonna split those 2 bids instead of the Big 12 getting one - but maybe 16 teams happens with 4 Big Ten, 4 SEC, 3 Big 12, 1 G5, 4 at large.

The one thing for sure in all of this is that nobody wants an anti trust suit. And they still want to keep conference championship games to get that paycheck so needing a couple more bids to prevent someone from getting knocked out of the extra game is the only way to make that work. This also puts the results on the field - and you de facto get your 2 CCG participants in the field of play. The only argument of getting screwed over can come from people that were left out - but at that point, it's on you.

I don't think college football or college sports entirely will look remotely close to what they look like today. The suits are running the show and if you are a degenerate who is reading this, you and your social circle, unfortunately, are not the people that are gonna be hurt the most by this, but we also are not the bulk of people. The reality is most people ignore Tuesday night MACtion - but not GEHBers.

The CFB hog is getting fat, and fat hogs go to slaughter. And that will happen the moment the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 which protects Saturdays for CFB Broadcasting gets challenged by the NFL - the carve out was made for the amateurs, and as soon as they are no long the amateurs the NFL will gladly start spreading games out across the weekend to get more viewership.