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Midweek Musings - The “Inclusivity” of a 12-Team Playoff

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Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Monday, we took a look at how the playoffs would have shaken out from 2014 to 2020 with the proposed 12-team format, and how it would ultimately be a boon to Penn State.

But what about the rest of college football?

Well, in the 7 year run of the playoff, a grand total of 11 teams have made an appearance in the playoffs:

Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma have each made it at least four times each. Notre Dame has made it twice. Oregon, Florida State, Michigan State, Washington, Georgia, and LSU have all been one-and-done teams.

Under the proposed setup, 39 teams would have made at least one appearance in the playoffs. That makes the playoff approximately four times as inclusive as the current setup:

What’s more, the tiers are basically the same. At the top you have those same four teams I already mentioned, who would have made it in basically every year. In the second tier, UGA and PSU would be tied for second with four appearances in a 7-year timeframe.

The third tier would include the teams that showed up 2-3 teams each, of which there are 13. And then the final tier of one-and-done teams spans another 20 teams.

And what about the conferences themselves?

Under the current format, no Group of 5 conference has ever made it to the playoff. The SEC and ACC have dominated the 4-team setup, sending 7 or more representatives each.

The new system would be much more inclusive, particularly to the G5 teams:

Under the proposed format, only Conference USA would have yet to send a representative to the playoffs. At the Power 5 level, the Big 10 would actually be the most-represented conference. Not the SEC. Not the ACC. The Big 10. Let that rattle around inside your craniums for a bit.

Will the rich get richer with the proposed setup? Rather than OSU making it 4 times in 7 years, they’d make it 7 times in 7 years. Will those missing 3 years suddenly vault them to the best team in the B1G? Will they become the best-er-est team in the B1G?

Or would PSU eat into their lead a bit? Will some of these one-off teams claim a random 5-star that would have otherwise gone to Bama, Clemson, OSU, or Oklahoma?

I said it on Monday, and I’ll say it again. I just don’t see how a 12-team playoff is bad. It allows more access for more teams, provides unique venues, and could ultimately serve to pull some of the star power away from the current cream of the crop.

I’m all for it.