Michigan and Washington officially brought the College Football season to a close in a 34-13 triumph for the Wolverines. Typically, this would mean the end of college football excitement for the near future, but thanks to a plethora of changes coming to the sport next year, fans have more to talk about than ever.

College football has always been a dynamic and evolving sport, with each season offering new storylines, rivalries, and players to watch. Shane Co. recently released a list of the top college football teams on TikTok; while reading through the rankings, I realized just how many things could be different in it next year with the vast changes coming to matchups and rivalries. The landscape of college football will undergo significant changes in the near future, with conference realignments and the expansion of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) taking center stage. This article will explore how these developments could reshape the college football landscape in the upcoming year and beyond.

Conference Realignments

One of the most significant factors contributing to the potential transformation of college football is conference realignment. Over the years, teams have switched to conferences to seek better financial opportunities, improved competition, or more prominent media exposure. Changes have always been a part of the CFB, but no year has seen as dramatic of changes as the country will see in the 2024 season. These moves have a cascading effect on scheduling, rivalries, and the overall balance of power within each conference.

The ongoing trend of conference realignment is expected to continue in the coming year. Traditional conference ties may weaken as universities explore opportunities in more lucrative markets or align themselves with schools that better suit their long-term goals. As these realignments take shape, college football fans can anticipate a new landscape that features novel matchups and renewed rivalries.

The Expansion of the College Football Playoffs

Another exciting development on the horizon is the expansion of the College Football Playoffs. In June 2021, the College Football Playoff committee announced a proposal to expand the playoffs from four to 12 teams. This proposal has gained significant momentum and will be implemented next season.

The expansion of the CFP opens the door for more teams to compete for the national championship, making the regular season even more meaningful. Under the proposed format, the top four teams would receive a bye, while the remaining eight teams would battle it out in the first round. This change could lead to new contenders emerging on the national stage and provide fans with more thrilling playoff matchups.

Impact on College Football

The combination of conference realignments and an expanded College Football Playoff could have far-reaching implications for the sport:

  1. New Rivalries: Conference realignments may result in the creation of new rivalries as teams from different regions and backgrounds clash on the field. These matchups could capture the imaginations of fans and add fresh excitement to the sport.
  2. Increased Competition: The expanded playoff format would mean that more teams have a legitimate shot at competing for a national championship. This heightened level of competition could lead to greater parity in college football and provide opportunities for previously overlooked schools to make a name for themselves.
  3. Financial Impact: The financial implications of these changes cannot be underestimated. Universities that move to more lucrative conferences may see increased revenues, while the expanded playoffs could generate substantial television contracts and ticket sales.
  4. Fan Engagement: With more games of consequence and a broader playoff field, fan engagement is likely to rise. The anticipation and excitement surrounding each week’s games would intensify, drawing even more viewers and attendance to college football events.

As we look ahead to the next college football season, it’s evident that the sport could look very different due to conference realignments and the expansion of the College Football Playoffs. These changes promise new rivalries, increased competition, and financial opportunities for universities and stakeholders. While some traditionalists may resist these transformations, they have the potential to make college football even more exciting and engaging for fans across the nation. So, as the new season approaches, keep an eye on how these developments shape the future of college football.