New CFP format would be good for Nebraska football, bad for the sport

A floated 14-team college football playoff would help Nebraska football, but at what cost to the sport as a whole?
Iowa v Nebraska
Iowa v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

Even before there's a chance to see how the 12-team playoff format works, it appears that Athletic Directors from the major conferences as well as Notre Dame are working to come up with a 14-team format.

Make no mistake about it, if this new format goes into effect, it has a chance to be very good for Nebraska football. But it also has an opportunity to be very bad for the sport. To the point where you have to wonder if the men pushing for this change actually like college football.

The part that Nebraska football fans are bound to like, is that the Big Ten would get 3 auto qualifiers. So would the SEC. The Big 12 and the ACC would each get two auto qualifiers. The Group of Five schools would get one auto qualifier and then there would be three at-large bids.

Should this new format become reality, it would take effect in 2026. That means that the format where teams actually have to have the highest rankings, with no auto qualifiers, the 12-team playoff that still allows the regular season to have some meaning, will only exist for two postseasons.

Nebraska football fans can at least take solace in being in one of the conferences that gets three AQ bids. Sure, this format would make the Big Ten title game almost entirely pointless beyond seeding but at least a team that doesn't even make the Big Ten title game will get into the playoffs!

New CFP format would be good for Nebraska football, bad for the sport

One of the things that has always made college football so popular is that the regular season has always mattered. While arguments have been made that the 12-team playoff diminished the regular season, I felt like basing the seeding and who gets in almost entirely on rankings meant that there was at least a reason to worry over even one loss.

Especially with the pool being the entirety of college football instead of the third place teams in the Big Ten and SEC and the second place teams in the Big 12 and ACC.

Make no mistake. This potential format is about trying to get even more money out of ESPN for an extra round of games. Unfortunately, that's why this 14-team approach is speeding down the tracks and appears to be a done deal, even if that won't be official until the end of March.

We should have clarity on whether the 14-team playoff is the new rule by April 1. Nebraska football fans should certainly be enthused if this does come to be. After all, the Huskers have some predicting they'll finish 3rd coming off a 5-7 season. It seems likely that it will be easier to get in should this pass.

Nebraska football fans just have to ask themselves if they're willing to see the sport they love take another hit in order to maybe hope for a darkhorse shot at the playoffs.