College Football Playoff expansion: CFP expanding yet again? 14-team model proposed

After CFP expansion to 12 has been approved, there are already discussions for another round—this time, to 14 teams. How soon could we see this?

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; The 2024 CFP logo on the field before the 2024 College Football
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; The 2024 CFP logo on the field before the 2024 College Football / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

CFP expansion talks already underway again; How would proposed 14-team model work?

No sooner does one round of CFP expansion get approved than we have yet another round proposed. Change never stops in modern college football.

So, how exactly are they proposing to switch things up this time? Well, what is currently being proposed is an increase from 12 teams to 14 teams starting in 2026. So we’d only get two years of the 12-team model if this ends up going through.

This leads to another question: what’s the rush? Why move to this model even before we’ve seen anything from the 12-team playoff? The answer, while a bit mundane, speaks a lot to the direction of the sport at the current moment.

The simple reason for the change in model is an attempt to further consolidate power in the two “super-conferences”—the Big 10 and the SEC. Key in this model is that each of those two conferences would get three automatic qualifiers, while the Big 12 and ACC would only get two. This creates a formalized hierarchy that, while existent in the minds of college football fans everywhere, has never been set in stone like this.

In this way, it is another step towards the aforementioned “super-conference” format. It doesn’t take much imagination to conceive of how this step can then be used for other types of special treatment going forward. Once these two rule the roost, then it becomes “join or die” for every other team—and that sooner rather than later, in my opinion.

According to Pete Thamel and Heather Dinich of ESPN, the television side of things has “already been agreed to in principle.” This means, in my estimation, that this change is all but a certainty by this point. TV—specifically, TV money—has driven most major college football changes in recent history.

We live in an interesting time as regards this sport that we all love. So many changes are happening so quickly, and things all seem to be going one way. Whether it’s for the betterment of the sport almost seems immaterial at this point.