It’s official. The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams starting in 2024. I wrote back when it was announced this was possible and that it was good for the Ohio State football team. This year is a great example of why expansion is good for fans of the Buckeyes.
If expansion of the Playoff had taken place already, the Buckeyes would be hosting a home playoff game this year. Right now, they’d be slated to take on Tulane. Imagine hosting a playoff game, in December, in the Shoe, against an opponent like that. That’d be a great atmosphere.
Now with the Rose Bowl signing an agreement, the CFP can expedite that timeline. Instead of it taking place in 2026, it’s now taking place two years soon. With Gene Smith reversing his thought process of hosting playoff games, that’s good news for Ohio State football fans.
What’s still unclear is whether or not this devalues the regular season in a meaningful way. I guess we are kind of experiencing this right now. Ohio State just lost to TTUN in the last game of the season and won’t be playing for a conference championship. Yet, they still might make the CFP.
Is that something that is good for the sport? Is losing the biggest game on your schedule at the end of the year and still having a chance to play for a national title a good thing? I’m not so sure. It should matter that you lost the biggest game of the year.
Now if the Ohio State Buckeyes make the CFP I’m certainly going to root for them. It will feel a little hollow though because it somehow feels like they didn’t completely earn it despite beating both Notre Dame and Penn State. That will be exasperated in 2024 once this takes effect.
If you like seeing the Buckeyes in playoff games this is a good thing. If you like the value of the regular season, it isn’t. Either way, it’s happening.