Increasing the school soccer playoffs would put the emphasis on groups successful their convention – in accordance with Twitter

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football writer Write

ROSEMONT, Ill. The proposed 12-team college football playoff would make winning a conference more important than ever with six seats reserved for league champions.

Every major college football conference has a title game, but how the participants are determined – division winners or best overall records – varies.

On Thursday, the college football executives who lead the playoffs opened two days of meetings at the Big Ten Conference office outside of Chicago that they hope will end with consensus on the heart of the plan: How many teams?

The trickle-down problems are already beginning to surface, including finding the optimal way to determine a conference champion and the best positioning of the league for playoff participation.

During the first seven seasons of the CFP, a conference placed more than one team in the field of four twice. In 2017, Georgia and Alabama, which didn’t even win their partition, made it out of the Southeastern Conference. Last year, the Atlantic Coast Conference, which benefited from Notre Dame’s pandemic league participation, brought both the Fighting Irish and Clemson into the playoffs.

Notre Dame was the first team to lose a Conference title game and reach the playoff.

If the playoff grows to 12, ideally conferences want to create title game matches that increase their chances of getting more than one team into the field, as the other six spots are filled by a selection committee.

The ACC did this last year by scrapping its divisions. The divisions are back in the ACC in 2021 and Notre Dame has disappeared and is returning to its cherished independence.

Under the Power Five conferences, the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, and Pac-12 use divisions to determine their championship games; the Big 12 are among the two best teams in the regular season standings. In Group Five, the American Athletic Conference has no divisions, but the others do.

The six best-placed Conference Champions are guaranteed a place in the playoffs and the first four receive bye tickets. But no league has an automatic bid.

Under this structure, a league conference championship game conflict can do more harm than good.

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