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Look: The Total Wins Needed for Each Big 12 Team to Make CFP

Nov 11, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; A view of the big 12 logo during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff will officially expand to a 12-team field this fall, meaning we will almost assuredly have some new teams in the race.

Since the CFP was established in 2014, it has been a four-team format, meaning that over the last 10 years, there have been 40 bids total. However, just 15 different teams have made the field, with Alabama (8), Clemson (6), Ohio State (5), and Oklahoma (4) combining for 23 of those.

So, heading into the 2024 season, there’s a lot of hope around college football that this new format will allow several teams to get their first real shot at a national championship in years.


But, what will it take to get in? In the first 10 years, no team with two losses has ever made the playoff, but in 2024, that will change. Heck, there’s a chance for some three-loss teams to sneak in if the circumstances are right.

Kelley Ford (@KFordRatings) is a popular social media account among college football fans that gives weekly Power Ratings and resume rankings throughout the season.

On Tuesday, Ford posted something on Twitter that sparked some very interesting debates.


“How many regular season wins does your team need to be in the conversation for a CFP at-large bid,” Ford asks.

From a “purely mathematical” standpoint, Ford’s ratings suggest that if Florida were to navigate its schedule and go 8-4, it should be in consideration to make the 12-team field. He’s not suggesting that they will get in, but simply stating that their schedule is so difficult that eight wins would put them among the contenders for an at-large bid.

So, what does it say about the Big 12 teams?

Well, a couple of things.

First, the Big 12’s collective strength of schedule is not going to do the conference any favors this season. According to the numbers, the minimum number of wins a Big 12 team would need to be considered for an at-large bid is 10.


Why is that notable? Well, there are 15 teams who would be in consideration with nine wins. Of those 15, 10 are from the SEC (11 if you count UF), four are from the Big Ten, and one is from the ACC (Georgia Tech).

Secondly, not all Big 12 schools are created equal. 10 Big 12 schools would be in consideration with 10 wins, while the other six would need to win 11 games or more in order to be considered worthy of a Playoff spot.

Minimum Wins Needed to Be Considered for a CFP At-Large Bid (Per KFord)

10 Wins (In Order of Most Impressive)

  • Houston
  • Arizona State
  • West Virginia
  • BYU
  • Colorado
  • Baylor
  • Iowa State
  • TCU
  • Cincinnati
  • Arizona

11 Wins (In Order of Most Impressive)

  • Oklahoma State
  • UCF
  • Texas Tech
  • Kansas State
  • Kansas
  • Utah

So, based on schedule difficulty, Houston would be the most likely team in the Big 12 to get into the CFP if it were to win 10 regular-season games and not win the conference. Meanwhile, if Utah were to go 11-1 and then lose in the Big 12 Championship, it might be the least likely of any of the Big 12 teams (hypothetically) to get in.

What are the odds of more than one Big 12 team winning 11 games in the regular season? Probably not great, considering the depth of the league.

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