Home » today » Sport » “Pac-12’s Path to College Football Playoff Becomes More Challenging with 5+7 Model”

“Pac-12’s Path to College Football Playoff Becomes More Challenging with 5+7 Model”

Pac-12’s Path to College Football Playoff Becomes More Challenging with 5+7 Model

The landscape of college football’s postseason is set to undergo a major change with the implementation of the 5+7 model for the expanded 12-team playoff format. This decision, made by the College Football Playoff leaders, has significant implications for the Pac-12 conference. With the 2024 season just over six months away, the Pac-12 finds itself facing a more challenging path to the College Football Playoff.

Under the new 5+7 model, college football’s five highest-ranked conference champions are guaranteed access to the playoff, while seven spots are reserved for the next highest-ranked teams. This change effectively dissolves the Pac-12’s status as a power conference, which was already weakened by the departure of 10 teams during the recent wave of conference realignment. In the previous 6+6 model, the Pac-12 would have likely had a playoff representative every year. However, with the new format, teams like Oregon State and Washington State, who now occupy a nominal spot as the “Pac-2,” are left on the outside looking in.

The five spots in the 5+7 model will be filled by the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and the highest-ranking non-power conference champion. This leaves little room for the Pac-12 to secure a playoff spot. However, despite the challenges they face, the door is not completely closed for the Pac-12. The path to the playoff has become more difficult, but there are still opportunities for teams to keep their hopes alive.

Oregon State and Washington State have taken steps to secure their immediate future following the Pac-12’s implosion. The two schools have entered into a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West conference to fill out their respective 12-game slate. As part of this alliance, each Mountain West team will play seven conference games and one contest against either Oregon State or Washington State. In return, the Pac-12 holdovers are providing the MWC with a sum of $14 million. While this agreement allows the Beavers and the Cougars to play a full schedule, there are drawbacks. The revised schedule is currently only in place for 2024, with an option to renew in 2025. Additionally, neither team is eligible to compete in the Mountain West Championship Game, and there will be no Pac-12 Championship Game for automatic qualification.

Former Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff had discussed the possibility of adding new schools to bolster the conference’s strength. It remains to be seen how Teresa Gould, who recently replaced Kliavkoff as the Pac-12 commissioner, will approach this challenge. There have also been talks of a potential merger between the Pac-12 and the Mountain West, which would allow Oregon State and Washington State to compete for a conference title again.

For now, however, the Beavers and Cougars will have to fight for an at-large bid. As Tuesday’s decisions suggest, they will be treated as non-power teams, making it harder to secure an at-large bid. Historically, only one team outside the former Autonomous Five conferences has made the College Football Playoff – Cincinnati in 2021. Their inclusion was largely due to an early-season win against a highly ranked Notre Dame team. Applying the current model to the 2023 College Football Playoff field, only Liberty from Conference USA would have qualified as a non-power conference team. The other at-large bids would have gone to schools in the SEC, Big Ten, and ACC.

In 2024, Washington State and Oregon State will have opportunities to make an impression and strengthen their case for a playoff spot. Both teams will preserve their in-state rivalries, with Washington State playing Washington and Oregon State playing Oregon. These games against formidable opponents will serve as a statement for the Pac-2 teams. Additionally, while the Mountain West Conference may not be considered a power conference, it boasts a strong roster of teams that have recently made their presence known in top 25 polls. However, to secure an at-large spot, Washington State or Oregon State would need to remain undefeated and hope for favorable outcomes in other games.

The Pac-12’s path to the College Football Playoff has undoubtedly become more challenging with the introduction of the 5+7 model. However, there are still avenues for teams like Oregon State and Washington State to compete and prove their worth. As the 2024 season approaches, all eyes will be on these teams as they navigate the new postseason landscape and strive to keep their playoff hopes alive.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.