Could the Buffs, Rams or Falcons finally have a legit shot at the CFP?

Sep 2, 2022, 2:03 PM

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 7:  Colorado Buffaloes players follow Colorado Buffaloes mascot Ralphie ont...

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 7: Colorado Buffaloes players follow Colorado Buffaloes mascot Ralphie onto the field before a am eagainst the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Folsom Field on September 7, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The college football world was rocked on Friday afternoon with a big scoop.

The playoff format, which has been four teams since its inception, is expanding to 12. When exactly is unclear, but it could be as soon as 2024. 2026 is also a legitimate option, because that’s when the current contract expires.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel, who broke the story, offered some details on how the structure will look:

The 11 presidents and chancellors who comprise the CFP’s Board of Managers approved the original 12-team model, which is the six highest-ranked conference champions, and six at-large teams. The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick will meet next week in Dallas to figure out the details.

Thamel adds in his article it may “take months” to figure out if the change will come in 2024, 2025 or 2026. But the good news is it’s coming. And that opens up the possibility of so many new teams playing for a title. Gone are the days where it’ll always be Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State as the only ones with a shot.

That begs the question, could a college football team from Colorado eventually play for a championship? Sure, why not. It wouldn’t happen this year, at least not for CU or CSU — they’re both going to struggle. Air Force has high expectations, but being a top-12 team at the end of 2022 is a stretch.

Still, there’s some recent history that suggests it’s not all that far away for the Buffs, Rams or Falcons to make the tournament. CU finished 10th in the 2016 CPF rankings before the postseason was played. That would have earned them a spot. CSU was 14th in the last AP poll of 2000 — which would have put them just on the outside looking in. Air Force ended up 13th in 1998, which would have meant heartbreak by the slimmest of margins.

Look, these programs have a long way to go, but today provides hope. If they get the right coaches in place, anything can happen with a 12-team playoff down the road.

Here’s hoping one of the three sees the big dance by 2030.



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Could the Buffs, Rams or Falcons finally have a legit shot at the CFP?