News broke on Thursday that the College Football Playoff will be likely be expanding to 12 teams in the very near future, some potential good news for college football fans just a few months from the start of the new season.
Nicole Aurbach from The Athletic was one of the first to break the news on the expansion process.
College Football Playoff expansion: Why 12 teams, why now, what's likely and what’s next, from me: https://t.co/Gj8m4pyMXo
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) June 10, 2021
Auerbach also report that the earliest the expansion would occur was for the 2023 season. It is also very likely the expansion could wait until the 2025 season due to financial considerations. With the playoff expanding to 12 teams what does all this mean for Notre Dame football moving forward? The official release from the College Football Playoff commitee offers some clues.
The proposal says that the playoff would consist of the six highest rated conference champions and the next six highest rated teams as determined by the College Football Playoff rankings. The top four highest ranked conference champions would receive a bye and first round games would take place on campus. Notre Dame would not be eligible for a bye in this scenario however, the odds of access for Notre Dame would increase by the inclusion of six at-large bids.
In most seasons Notre Dame would have to go undefeated as an independent in order to qualify for the playoff so in the proposal above Notre Dame keeps access to the playoffs, increases their chance at access with at-large bids, and gives themself a chance to lose a game during the season an still qualify. Overall this is a net-positive for the Fighting Irish football program as the proposal is currently constructed.