The end of an era for the four-team CFP format and Pac-12 football
The GIST: Thanks to the shifting landscape of college sports, Monday’s natty marked the end of two eras: the four-team CFP and Pac-12 football.
The CFP expansion: Next year, the CFP will abandon its 10-year-old model, expanding from four to 12 playoff contenders. The new bracket-style tournament adds eight more playoff games and likely more postseason enthusiasm, viewership, and advertising money.
- Will the expanded format help avoid wild playoff snubs (and a firestorm of criticism)? There will always be bubble teams who don’t make the field, but this update brings more squads into the title hunt — which means more end-of-season drama.
The Pac-12’s final snap: Driven by Pac-12 football programs’ dissatisfaction with their media rights deal, last summer’s conference realignment bonanza means the Pac-12 gridiron — with its tradition of legendary QBs and after-dark gong shows — is officially closed for business. A whopping 10 of its 12 member schools will bail for other “Power” conferences by next fall — with other sports dragged along for the ride.
- The remaining Pac-2 — Washington State and Oregon State — have two academic years to rebuild the conference. In the meantime, they’ll compete with the Mountain West in football and the West Coast Conference in everything else.