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The College Football Playoff’s Fate Could Rest In President Barron’s Hands

As hype and rumors surrounding the College Football Playoff’s proposed expansion swirl around the internet, it’s important to remember that one Penn State official could play a large role in the postseason’s future.

Penn State President Eric Barron has served on the College Football Playoff’s Board of Managers since 2016. He’s the only Big Ten representative among the 11-member group, and now, he could help finalize plans to expand the postseason into a 12-team College Football Playoff.

On Thursday, a subgroup of the College Football Playoff’s management committee proposed changing the four-team postseason format to a 12-team event. The bracket would include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the six highest-ranked at-large teams, determined by the oh-so-powerful College Football Playoff selection committee. The top four seeds would receive a bye week en route to a more traditional tournament, culminating with a championship game at a neutral site.

Even better? The No. 5 to No. 8-seeded teams would respectively host the No. 9 to No. 12-seeded teams for the postseason’s first round. Could you imagine a Playoff in Beaver Stadium in December? We’re freezing our asses off just thinking about it.

Either way, a 12-team Playoff is far from reality, at least for now. Next up, the College Football Playoff’s management committee will meet in Chicago on June 17 and 18 to review the recommended proposal. Should the 11-member group advance it, the proposal would move on to Barron and his colleagues among the Board of Managers, who will meet in Dallas on June 22.

During the board’s June 22 meeting, members would receive recommendations and potentially discuss implementation. It would likely meet again in September to continue discussions.

No matter what Barron and his pals decide to do this summer, the current College Football Playoff format isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Current agreements for a four-team postseason stretch through the 2025-26 season, but Bill Hancock, the Playoff’s executive director, told The Athletic an expansion could occur as early as 2023.

For an extra fun Penn State tidbit, take a look at how a 12-team playoff format could’ve looked in years past. The Nittany Lions could’ve made the big dance every year from 2016 to 2019! We don’t need to talk about 2020.

At this time, it’s unclear how Barron or his colleagues would feel about expanding the Playoff. Either way, it’s neat to think Penn State will be represented in the final decision, no?

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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