ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit in favor of 12-team format for College Football Playoff
Add Kirk Herbstreit to the list of college football personalities who are in favor of the playoff expansion model.
Thursday, big news was announced with the College Football Playoff confirming that a 12-team model had been proposed and is under consideration. For the last seven years, the event has operated with a four-team format but it’s come under extreme criticism recently.
Herbstreit joined ESPN’s SportsCenter on Thursday, hours after the big news came down in the college football. He believes this new expanded model — if it’s approved — is good for the game.
“I think this is inevitable and I think it’s for the best,” Herbstreit said. “I’ve kind of come full-circle, to be honest with you. I really looked at this as something that Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, it seems like every year. We can sit here in 2021, 2022, 2023; those three teams are in. Who’s going to be the one team to join those three teams? And I don’t know how healthy that is for college football. I just think that’s something that the decision-makers had said, ‘This is going to allow more teams an opportunity to compete.’ If you talk to the players, they love it. The players are fired up because they want an opportunity to compete in, ‘meaningful games.’ By going to 12, you’re going to open this thing up.”
The College Football Playoff’s 12-team proposal would award 6 automatic bids to the highest-ranked conference champions, as well as 6 at-large bids. The 4 highest-ranked conference champions would receive a bye.
This would also allow Group of 5 teams to compete for a national championship moving forward. So far, no Group of 5 program has been close to receiving a spot in the four-team field, as it’s been exclusively a Power 5 model for the past seven seasons.
Herbie believes that’s another benefit of an expanded field.
“They could be the big winner here. This is not the Power Five plus let’s make the American the sixth. This is open up to anybody. If somebody from the American were to make a run and be considered one of the top six teams as champions, they would be in. The same would be said about — you could look at Conference USA or the MAC. Any of these conferences, the Mountain West, anybody who might get hot. And in the past, they’d be banging their head against the wall because, realistically, they’d have no chance of getting into the top four. Now, they will. They will have a legitimate chance.”
The next step in the process towards expansion is for the management committee to review the proposal and recommendation at its next meeting, scheduled for June 17-18 in Chicago.