NCAA Football

Kevin Warren calls Big Ten home games in expanded College Football Playoff ‘great’

Kevin Warren calls Big Ten home games in expanded College Football Playoff ‘great’

The College Football Playoff will expand in 2024. A total of 12 teams will participate in the playoffs, with the top four seeds advancing to the first round.

Although the top four teams are inactive, the first round will still be attractive due to the on-campus games at the site of the higher-ranked team: (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 in #7 and #9 in #8).

At The Sports Business Journal’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in Las Vegas, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said Opening round games in Big Ten stadiums would be “great” for the conference.

The Big Ten will host some of the coldest playoff games, certainly colder than the likes of the SEC, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12. Playing at Michigan, Ohio or Beaver Stadium will have potentially treacherous conditions, as well crowds of over 100,000.

Warren noted that only one team in the Big Ten has prepared the field for the winter, but that could change and says the conference has “time to do it.”

“All of our stadiums have great traditions in their own right, as well as home field advantage with the weather.”

Michigan’s 42-27 win over Ohio State in late November 2021 at The Big House featured late-game snow flurries and an atmosphere as big as any college game. No doubt if Michigan ever hosted a first-round playoff game, it would be noisy and probably very cold. However, the Wolverines would opt for a first-round bye and a top-four finish instead of another game at No. 5 or lower Michigan Stadium. Even so, the possibility of Michigan playing a home playoff game in front of fans in Ann Arbor is bound to happen at some point.

“I imagine these games on campus in this atmosphere with our fans. In terms of the College Football Playoff, you think about the energy and the excitement and what can happen,” Warren said. “I’m really excited about it.”

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