Sonny Dykes Slams Proposed College Football Playoff Format Changes

Sonny Dykes has criticized the reported proposed 14-team College Football Playoff changes. Why has the TCU head coach reacted so angrily?

TCU Horned Frogs head coach Sonny Dykes has reacted angrily to reported proposals that the College Football Playoff format could change again in 2026. Under fresh proposals, the playoffs would expand to 14 teams, providing a competitive advantage to the winners of two major conferences.

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Why Does Sonny Dykes Disagree With the 14-Team Playoff Proposals?

College Football Playoff expansion is again being discussed, with proposals to make a 14-team postseason from 2026. ESPN first reported the discussions on February 21, 2024, and under the suggested changes, the Big Ten and SEC champions would have an automatic bye in the first round.

The other 12 teams comprise two others from each of the SEC and Big Ten, two seeds from the ACC and Big 12, the highest-ranked Group of Five team, with the three remaining spots filled from the other highest-ranked programs.

While changes were expected to be implemented in the future, the discussions occurring before the first season where the 12-team playoff format will be used are surprising.

In 2024, 12 teams will make the College Football Playoff, with the five conference champions included automatically and the four highest-ranked of those teams receiving a bye week. Selection committee rankings fill the other seven teams.

The main issue with the proposed expansion in 2026 is that the changes favor the SEC and Big Ten, which have been slandered by head coaches across the country, including Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and TCU’s Sonny Dykes.

Dyke’s words have perhaps been the strongest, with the Horned Frogs head coach believing that the proposed changes are illogical.

“Automatic first-round byes for the Big Ten and SEC is like the NFL saying the Cowboys get a first-round bye since they have more fans than the Bengals. How preposterous is that?” Dykes said, speaking to ESPN.

Dykes makes a sound point. If the No. 1 ranked team in the nation isn’t the SEC or Big Ten champion, then they won’t receive a bye, which the TCU head coach believes is inherently unfair.

With TCU’s recent playoff appearance, it is easy to see why Dykes would be so upset. The Horned Frogs made the National Championship game in 2022, beating Michigan in the semi-final at the Fiesta Bowl to book their spot in the title game.

However, TCU lost the Big 12 Conference Championship game to Kansas State that year, and while they made the Championship Game anyway, their run to the playoffs wouldn’t have happened under the proposed 14-team format.

The Wolverines would have had a bye in the suggested new format as the Big Ten champions, and TCU would have been ranked down the pecking order.

KEEP READING: Projecting the 2024-2025 College Football Playoff

The proposed 14-team changes are being discussed because the Big Ten and SEC believe they deserve a bigger proportion of the revenue. The two conferences believe they draw in the most TV viewers and generate more income than any other college football conference.

That may be true. However, Dykes – along with other major head coaches across the country – has taken issue with the unfairness of the proposals, believing every conference and every team should be given equal opportunities to succeed.

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