The second set of College Football Playoff rankings was unveiled on Tuesday.
Ohio State moved into the No. 4 spot, and the Buckeyes joined No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Oregon.
Is four teams enough? That continues to be the debate. Playoff expansion was the topic of the summer, and the plans for a 12-team College Football Playoff are still being discussed.
MORE: Head-to-head debate takes center stage
The Associated Press reports that the 12-team model is still favored, and the hope is that it will be implemented before the 2024 season. According to the report, the commissioners will have to agree to a new format within the next four months, or that expansion could be pushed back to 2026.
Each week, Sporting News will take a look at how that 12-team playoff would look this year:
Who are the top 12 in the CFP Rankings?
Here is a look at the 12 teams that would have made the College Football Playoff in 2021 based on the second set of rankings that were released Tuesday:
- 1. Georgia (9-0)
- 2. Alabama (8-1)
- 3. Oregon (8-1)
- 4. Ohio State (8-1)
- 5. Cincinnati (9-0)
- 6. Michigan (8-1)
- 7. Michigan State (8-1)
- 8. Oklahoma (9-0)
- 9. Notre Dame (8-1)
- 10. Oklahoma State (8-1)
- 11. Wake Forest (8-1)
- 12. Texas A&M (7-2)
The proposed format in the summer would have given automatic bids to the top six conference champions. Based on standings, those teams would be Georgia, Oregon, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Wake Forest.
Notre Dame, which moved up to No. 9 in the second set of rankings, agreed in the proposal to forego a first-round bye because it is not in a conference championship game. That rule would not apply in this case.
What would the first-round matchups be in 2021?
Remember, the proposed expanded playoffs also had the first-round games on campus. Here is what the 12-team field would look like at this point based on the seeding:
- No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma (Winner plays No. 1 Georgia)
- No. 12 Texas A&M at No. 5 Cincinnati (Winner plays No. 4 Ohio State)
- No. 10 Oklahoma State at No. 7 Michigan State (Winner plays No. 2 Alabama)
- No. 11 Wake Forest at No. 6 Michigan (Winner plays No. 3 Oregon)
Who wouldn’t sign up for this? The format still favors the Big Ten and SEC, which would account for half the field.
What would an eight-team playoff look like?
The same as the quarterfinal round if the chalk held up:
If the chalk held in the first round, then here is what the quarterfinal round would look like:
- No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
- No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Cincinnati
- No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 7 Michigan State
- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 6 Michigan
Those matchups would be fun on campus, too, especially that Ohio State-Cincinnati matchup. The problem? The ACC is not represented, and three Big Ten teams would be in. Is that the best fit for expansion?