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Assuming the Pac 12 goes to Pac 16, is that the beginning of the playoffs for the national championship. It is then just one or two small steps to a superconference which in essence is the national championship. Assume that the future Pac 16 forms an alliance with a future SEC 16. That puts 32 of the Division one teams in a playoff system. Then assume one step further. The Big 10 plus joins the alliance and either the ACC or the Big East. You then have a playoff system in place for the 64 of the Division One teams. I would bet that the national champion comes from one of those 64 teams 95% or more of the time. You have a national championship playoff system.
16-school conferences certainly positions FBS football for a playoff.
At the same time, there is no guarantee that will be the outcome. Money will be the driver.
I believe that university presidents and chancellors like the bowl system as it is now. If the bowl system's monetary benefits are significantly diminished or marginalized, then there will be an opening for an FBS playoff system. Otherwise, the status quo will continue.
Having four 16-team "super-conferences" allows for a defacto playoff while maintaining the bowl system.
Each super-conference would have a conference playoff (which all that have 12+ teams currently enjoy) that essentially becomes a quarter-final.
The Pac-12 and Big-10 champs can meet in Rose Bowl (semi-final) with the winner advancing to the national championship. Meanwhile the SEC champ would meet the winner of whatever arises from a merger of the best ACC/Big East teams in the Orange or Sugar Bowl.
Losers of the 4 conference championship games would also play on New Year's Day in bowls such as Fiesta, Cotton, etc.
Reminds me of this article I read last year about a potential playoff