What a 12-team College Football Playoff would mean for Week 4’s biggest matchups

It’s a dreary week for the College Football Playoff race. And it has us questioning: What if it have been 2026 already?

Throughout the whole thing of faculty soccer there’s not a single sport on this week’s slate during which each groups have a minimum of one share level of playoff leverage, in keeping with the Allstate Playoff Predictor. In different phrases: There’s no sport the place a win or loss issues for each groups when it comes to the playoff race.

Would it’s higher with a 12-team playoff? Well, by that measure, sure. There would be eight video games the place each groups cleared the admittedly low bar of 1 share level of playoff leverage. With extra playoff spots out there, that was certain to extend. But it would additionally change the results of video games throughout the board. So let’s take a look: What would be at stake in Week 4 in a 12-team world?


In our present state, Tennessee is a playoff contender with an out of doors shot and a 14% probability at incomes a berth. That can improve to … 15% with a win. A loss drops them to three%.

In a 12-team playoff? No crew would have extra playoff leverage at stake in Week 4 than the Vols. A win or a loss towards Florida would equate the distinction between a 72% probability on the 12-team playoff and a 39% probability. That’s enormous!

Remember these eight video games I discussed the place each groups would have a minimum of one share level value of playoff leverage? You’re wanting on the first of them. Suddenly with a 12-team playoff, a crew like 3-0 Maryland has a shot if every thing breaks proper. In this case, if the Terps have been to stroll out of Michigan Stadium with a win, they would be an 11% probability on the playoff, per the Predictor. As against underneath a 1% probability right this moment.

Michigan would have a number of ranges of leverage at stake: The Wolverines playoff possibilities would swing from 52% with a loss to 82% with a win. But Michigan may also have its eye on a kind of byes if issues go nicely the remainder of the best way. The Wolverines would have the ability to stand up to a 19% probability of a bye with a win, whereas a loss would drop their bye hopes to simply 7%.

This isn’t any gimme for the Trojans towards the 3-0 Beavers, with FPI giving USC a 69% probability to win. The penalties are important for USC in both setup: The Trojans’ playoff possibilities with a win would leap to 25% in a four-team format and drop to 7% with a loss.

While a loss would not be fairly as devastating in a 12-team format, the distinction between a win and loss would be bigger: 73% to 44%. Like with Michigan, there would even be severe bye stakes for USC, particularly as a crew extra more likely to win its convention. Beating Oregon State would get the Trojans as much as a 48% (!) shot at a bye, whereas dropping would drop them to 29%.

And how about these Beavers? They would have a 7% probability at a playoff berth in a 12-team world ought to they beat USC this week (underneath 1% with a loss). It’s higher than nothing, and it raises the reward of profitable from simply being a spoiler (from a playoff perspective).

Here’s a sport the place a playoff contender’s leverage would fall in a 12-team playoff setup. Ohio State is at present a 70% probability to earn a berth with a win over the Badgers and a 42% probability with a loss, per the Allstate Playoff Predictor.

With a 12-team playoff, the distinction between these numbers would compress, as a loss for a wonderful crew like Ohio State would hardly maintain it out: The Buckeyes would transfer from a 97% playoff probability with a win to an 85% probability with a loss But the sport would even have first-round bye ramifications, with Ohio State’s possibilities transferring from 53% to 38% relying on a win or a loss.

And the sport would have playoff which means for Wisconsin, which it at present doesn’t within the four-team format: The Badgers would have a 20% probability at a berth with a win over Ohio State and an 8% probability with a loss.

FPI makes Michigan State a 61% favourite on this contest, though undefeated Minnesota would be the crew with greater leverage: an 18 share level swing between profitable and dropping with the upside of a 30% probability to achieve the CFP with a victory. The sport would matter for the Spartans too, even after their loss to Washington, to the tune of eight share factors of leverage (maxing out an 11% probability on the CFP with a win).

In our present state, solely Minnesota has playoff stakes, and barely: a 3% shot with a win.

This sport strikes from what must be a shut sport (Baylor is a 53% favourite) with just about no playoff implications to a shut sport with important playoff implications for each groups. Neither crew would possible make the playoff in a 12-team format, however with a win, they each would have a probability. For Baylor, that would be a 25% shot and Iowa State a 10% probability.

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