Conference Championship Preview

The College Football Playoff committee announced this week that the playoff will officially be expanding to 12 teams in the 2024 season. Here is a closer look at some of the details.

  • The top six conference champions will receive automatic bids.
  • The last six spots will be reserved for the SEC, I mean at large teams (read one Big Ten team).
  • The four highest-ranked conference champions will receive a first-round bye.
  • The four highest remaining teams would host the first-round games at their home stadiums.

The new playoff will bring a more national feel to the playoff by including more conferences and teams from across the country. The real game-changer is going to be the home playoff games. Those electric atmospheres will lead to a call for fewer netural-site and sterile bowl venues.

Take a look at the first-round matchups based on the committee’s rankings this week. We could see a playoff “White Out” in Happy Valley, The Shoe welcoming the Green Wave, Neyland’s Navy rocking again, and the Tide welcoming the Utes.

The expanded playoff will also increase the importance of Conference Championship weekend. Dan Wetzel argued this week that the Georiga, Michigan, TCU, and USC should all be locked into the playoff and not punished if they slip up this weekend.

As I heard this week on one of my football podcasts, it was a 13th data point that kept TCU out of the playoff in 2014, it could be the 13th data point that costs them a spot in 2022. I think we can all agree the playoff needs more of whatever the hell this is.

The expanded playoff also increases accessibility for all of the conferences. The Big Ten and SEC have separated themselves from the other ten conferences in terms of dollars and acquiring talent.

This goes beyond the G5 argument. The new media rights deal for the SEC and Big Ten has left the ACC, Big 12, and Pac 12 in the dust. They now will have to claw and scrap their way to earning one of those top six spots. The gap to the Sun Belt, AAC, and Moutain West is shrinking. James Madison will be ready.

Finally, look to the Pac-12 Championship this year. It is no longer the North playing the South. Instead, the Pac-12 ditched divisions and is having the two highest-ranked teams face each other in the championship. This led to intrigue throughout the season. Last weekend (the final weekend of the regular season), saw as many as four teams with a shot at playing in the championship. The ACC is going Coastal and ditching divisions next year, with the Big Ten and SEC likely to follow in 2024. This will not only gives fans an extra weekend of great games but also ensures that no team will be bumped from the 12-team format.

2024 can’t come soon enough. I’m here for it and I know you will be too.

Stat of the Week: Fertilizing the Transfer Portal Grass

The Transfer Portal officially opens for business on Monday. Joy’s tweet is a good reminder though, not all players find a home in the portal. Some are left on the outside looking in. Players will have a 60-day window to see if they want to leave for greener pastures. The sky is not falling! Tony Siracusa does. a good job of breaking down the December Portal.

Conference Championship Game Selections

Let’s be honest, my regular season picks stunk, but that’s ok. I enjoyed watching the games and being mystified at the number of times I lost a pick by a .5 or 1 point. Let’s give out some trophies!

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🎟️ North Texas 🆚 UTSA (-8.5)
📍 Alamodome
🏆 Conference USA
⏰ 7:30 p.m. EST (Friday)
💰 #BirdsUp 🤙

Jeff Traylor is a wagon at UTSA. He will be ready to take over in College Station when the oil money comes in.

🎟️ Utah 🆚 USC (-2.5)
📍 Allegiant 🏟️
🏆 Pac-12
⏰ 8 p.m. EST (Friday)
📺 Fox
💰 #FightOn ✌️

Utah’s 4th straight trip to the Pac-12 Championship. Caleb Williams seals the Heisman.

🎟️ Kansas State 🆚 TCU (-2.5)
📍 AT&T 🏟️
🏆 Pig 12
⏰ 12 p.m. EST
💰 #GoFrogs 🐸

Do you really want to go against the Hypnotoad?

🎟️ Toledo (-3)🆚 Ohio
📍 Ford Field
⏰ 12 p.m. EST (Friday)
💰 #LiftOff 🚀

This should be an evenly matched and entertaining game. Great second-screen watching.

🎟️ Coastal Carolina 🆚 Troy (-8.5)
📍 Veterans Memorial 🏟️
🏆 Sun Belt
⏰ 3:30 p.m. EST (Friday)
💰 #TealNation 🐔

Jamey Chadwell is rumored to be off to Liberty. He pisses teal one more time with the Chants.

🎟️ Georgia (-17.5) 🆚 LSU
📍 Mercedes Benz 🏟️
⏰ 3:30 p.m. EST (Friday)
💰 #GoDawgs 🐶

In the last two years, Georgia has faced six Top 15 teams not named Alabama. The Bulldogs have allowed 13, 3, 11, 13, 0, and 3 points in those games and have won each of them by an average of 24.0 PPG. All 6 went under the total and Georgia covered the spread in five of them… (via @chrisfallica)

🎟️ UCF 🆚 Tulane(-4)
📍 Yulman ️🏟️
⏰ 4 p.m. EST
💰 #RollWave 🌊

Willie Fritz decided to stay in New Orleans this week rather than head to the Ramblin Wreck at Georgia Tech. He is rewarded with a win.

🎟️ Fresno State 🆚 Boise State (-3)
📍 Albertsons 🏟️
🏆 Pac-12
⏰ 4 p.m. EST
📺 Fox
💰 #FightOn✌️

Boise started off 1–3 before going a perfect 8–0 in conference. Andy Avalos has the Broncos back to where we all thought they were.

🎟️ Purdue 🆚 Michigan (-17)
📍 Lucas Oil 🏟️
🏆 B1G
⏰ 8 p.m. EST
📺 Fox
💰 #BoilderUp 🚂

Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers are 3–1 against top-five teams, including two wins during the 2021 season.

🎟️ Clemson (-7.5) 🆚 UNC
📍 Bank of Amerca 🏟️
⏰ 8 p.m. EST (Friday)
💰 #AllIn 🐯

No underdog has won the ACC Title Game since 2011. Favorites have won and covered each of the last five, winning by 24, 24, 45, 32 and 35…(via @chrisfallica)