By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
The College Football Playoff announced Thursday that it will expand to a 12-team format starting as early as 2024, ending the year and a half process of talks, according to reports. The news comes just a day after the Rose Bowl came to an agreement on its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
The CFP was waiting for that announcement, and now the 12-team event will take place after the culminating four-team run in 2023.
Some changes that come with the news include the introduction of campus-hosted playoff games for seeds 5-12. That will be the first round, which will end Saturday, Dec. 21. A full determination of exact dates has not been put together.
Baylor football would have made the CFP in 2021 and 2013, as those teams won the Big 12 championship for an automatic bid. In the last 10 years, the Bears’ 2019 and 2014 team would have had a strong chance for an at-large bid.
Third year head coach Dave Aranda said expansion is “good for the sport” but brought up the likely lessened importance for bowl games moving forward.
“Once that shows up, if you’re from a big perspective, you immediately go to, ‘what happens to bowl games? Do bowl games lose their importance?’” Aranda told reporters on Sept. 5.
Aranda added that “you could probably make that argument now.” The former Louisiana State University defensive coordinator said while that bowl importance is something to think of, expansion is still healthy for college football.
“But I think having that opportunity, no matter where you’re at, to have a shot to get in and compete, I think will be way cool for the sport,” Aranda said. “And I think it’s needed.”
The Bears (6-6, 4-5 Big 12) are not in the same boat as last season and await their bowl game selection. Baylor will find out those details on Sunday.