In a world of a four-team College Football Playoff, defeats tend to cost teams a little extra. However, they won’t be as costly when the field expands to include 12 teams. As UCLA, Ole Miss, and Syracuse all suffered their first losses recently, the undefeated ranks were thinned, to say the least. The good news is that by 2026, we’ll have a 12-team playoff in place. So, what would that projection look like?
The 12-Team Model Configuration
Back in August, College Football Playoff executives adopted an expansion model that includes automatic qualifiers to the six highest-ranked conference champions, as well as six at-large selections of the next six top-ranked teams.
Out of those, the four highest-ranked conference champions proceed to the second round (a.k.a. they receive byes for the first round). Independents are not eligible to get a bye. In addition to that, the four first-round games are played on the campus of the better-seeded team. There are six bowls that host the quarterfinals and semifinals on a rotation principle, with teams assigned to their leagues’ historic bowl affiliations.
The 12-Team College Football Playoff Projection
The at-large selections are not all undefeated, given that Wake Forest, Alabama, and Oregon advance into the College Football Playoff mock bracket despite suffering defeats. What’s more, the trio was added to the bracket over great teams like Oklahoma State, Illinois, and USC. That happened because the determining factor was the quality of losses.
Kansas State (vs. Tulane) and Illinois (Indiana) had the worst losses, while the Ducks (vs. Georgia), Crimson Tide (Tennessee), and Deacons (Clemson) lost on the road against Top 5 teams. Although Penn State had the best loss of those left out (at Michigan), the game was still a rout.
All in all, the current 12-team projection will likely change as the season progresses.
Will Home Advantage Count for Anything in the 2020 MLB Season?
Home field advantage is something that baseball teams are often hoping for, but it’s one of the sport’s great unquantifiables. Atmosphere certainly impacts the events on the field, but does it give the home side an added advantage? MLB’s 2020 season is initially set to be played in front of no fans, so will that home advantage count for anything in the coming months?
A Different Ball Game
The 2020 MLB season is going to be like nothing we have ever seen before. There will be just 60 regular season games, with no fans in attendance for at least the very beginning of the season. Teams will be traveling much less, with 40 of those 60 games to be played in their own division.
Familiarity may breed contempt between MLB franchises this season as tensions arising from game to game will be escalated the more they play each other. The hastily-put-together MLB schedule has thrown up some interesting quirks, like how the Red Sox play seven of 10 games against the Yankees in New York.
A 2014 study conducted by the Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology, discovered that MLB teams win just 53.6 percent of their home games. This is hugely different from NBA teams who win 61 percent of their home games. Those MLB figures are with crowds having minor influences on umpires and opposition fans. With players less weary from their travels, and less intimidating atmospheres in 2020, it’s unlikely there will be as much fear for the road team.
Should fans be allowed back into the stands for the later part of the season, we will be able to compare results and see how big an advantage they really bring. Considering there is only a small home advantage in MLB according to reports, that could completely diminish this season. Perhaps we’ll even see road teams winning a higher percentage than home teams.