Change is coming to the College Football Playoff in a big way next season. The postseason tournament will grow from four teams to 12. As of now, the 12 teams in the bracket will include the six highest-rated conference champions, according to the CFP Rankings, and the next six highest-ranked programs. The top four conference champions will get byes into the quarterfinals. Should fewer than six conferences be represented, I will project however many are needed to get to six.
There is a legitimate chance that format will be adjusted to account for the demise of the Pac-12. That could result in something as simple as guaranteeing playoff spots for only the top five conference champions (with seven at-large bids) or something more drastic, such as doing away with automatic qualifiers entirely.
We finally have a change among the top teams. Michigan beat Ohio State and is now in this bracket as the Big Ten champion. It also means that for the first time this season, the top four teams in this bracket are also the top four teams in the rankings. The new playoff will reward the top four conference champions with byes to the quarterfinals regardless of their rankings.
No. 22 Tulane is still the highest-ranked Group of Five team in this week's CFP Rankings. Undefeated Liberty is up to No. 24. If Tulane loses the AAC Championship Game to SMU, the Flames could take that spot. However I would not be surprised if the Mustangs jumped into the rankings and grabbed it instead.
Of the 12 teams in this bracket, only Florida State and Tulane will not be members of the Big Ten or SEC next season.
Let's take a look at how the 12-team playoff would look after the penultimate CFP Rankings release of the 2023 season.
(11) Ole Miss at (6) Ohio State
Winner advances to play (3) Washington*
* Projected conference champion