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Reports: College Football Playoff To Expand To 12 Teams Beginning In 2026

The time has finally come, folks.

According to multiple reports, the College Football Playoff Board of Managers voted unanimously to expand the Playoff to 12 teams. ESPN’s Pete Thamel is reporting that the 12-team model is expected to start in 2026.

Additionally, Thamel noted the new format “could go earlier” after further discussions.

The Athletic‘s Nicole Auerbach noted that the 12-team Playoff will be made up of the six highest-ranked conference champions and then six at-large teams.

https://twitter.com/NicoleAuerbach/status/1565778316321226753?s=20&t=ILqWxTkQFU4SKDkZQaTVsg

The current four-team Playoff system has been in place since the BCS was dissolved in 2014. Since the format’s inception, Penn State has failed to clinch a College Football Playoff appearance, with its closest shot coming in 2016 when it won the Big Ten championship.

Penn State has long been in favor of an expanded Playoff format. At the Outback Bowl this past December, former Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour voiced her and the program’s support for expansion.

“I’m definitely in favor of expansion. Penn State is, James [Franklin] is,” Barbour said. “I think the number depends on some particulars around it…I think player health and safety needs to be at the forefront.”

Former President Eric Barron previously served on the College Football Playoff’s Board of Managers and met with his colleagues to discuss expanding the Playoff in the past, but nothing ever came to fruition during those meetings.

Now, it appears Penn State’s chances of finally clinching a College Football Playoff berth over the next five to 10 years have gone up significantly.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

After a four-year career with Onward State, Gabe is now a college graduate and off to the real world. He shockingly served as the blog’s managing editor during the 2022-23 school year and covered football for much of his Onward State tenure, including trips to the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl. For any professional inquiries, please email Gabe at [email protected]. You can still see his bad sports takes on Twitter at @gabeangieri.

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