Official: College Football Playoff will remain at 4 teams in 2020

Sam Cooper
·2 min read

It’s official: The College Football Playoff will remain at four teams in 2020.

It’s not an unexpected development, but it was confirmed Sunday in a Q&A released on the CFP website ahead of Tuesday night’s rankings release, the first of the 2020 season.

“The CFP management committee considered expanding the College Football Playoff this year and decided against it,” the CFP selection committee said. “The year 2020 has been one of uncertainty and change, but we are not changing the playoff format.”

The 2020 college football season has certainly been unique, and some have called for an expansion of the playoff beyond four teams for this season. CFP officials pushed back the initial rankings show until this upcoming week, but the format will remain at four teams.

One unique aspect of the season is the differing number of games played from conference to conference. Big Ten teams have played at most five games at this point in the year. Pac-12 teams have played no more than three. Meanwhile, some teams in the ACC have already played nine times.

How will that affect how the selection committee operates?

“The committee ranks teams, not conferences. The more games played, the more chances a team has to prove itself to the committee. If the committee feels the 7-1 team has more quality wins despite one loss, it will factor that into its rankings. If it feels the 3-0 team’s undefeated start is more impressive, it will factor that into its rankings,” the selection committee said.

The College Football Championship Playoff logo is shown on the field at AT&T Stadium during the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-final playoff football game between Clemson and Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
The College Football Playoff will remain in a four-team format in 2020. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

The selection committee also specified that there is no minimum game requirement to be eligible for the playoff.

“The number of games and wins by each team is certainly important in weighing its ranking, but it is not the only factor,” the committee said.

Additionally, the committee said it will “consider whether the absence” of any key players due to COVID-19 “affects on-field performance,” just like it has in years past with respect to injured players.

“We will handle the player-availability issue the same way we have done in the past. If a key player misses a game, the committee will know and consider whether the absence affects the on-field performance. COVID cancellations will happen, and the committee will continue to make decisions based on the games played each week,” the committee said.

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