College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams for 2024 season


The College Football Playoff is finally growing.

After playing with just four teams since its inception in 2014, the CFP will expand to 12 teams beginning in the 2024 season.

Members of the CFP Board of Managers approved the expansion on Thursday, one day after the Rose Bowl agreed to alter its agreements for the first two years of the larger CFP. The playoff originally wasn’t expected to expand until 2026.

“We’re delighted to be moving forward,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. “When the board expanded the playoff beginning in 2026 and asked the CFP Management Committee to examine the feasibility of starting the new format earlier, the Management Committee went right to work.”

“More teams and more access mean more excitement for fans, alumni, students and student-athletes. We appreciate the leaders of the six bowl games and the two future national championship game host cities for their cooperation. Everyone realized that this change is in the best interest of college football and pulled together to make it happen.”

With the expanded playoff, postseason games will be played at home fields for the first time in the CFP era. The playoff field will include the top four conference champions, followed by some combination of the top six at-large bids and two highest-ranked remaining conference champions. Teams will be ordered based on the CFP rankings.

The top four teams – all conference champions – will have a first-round bye. Seeds five through eight will host a home playoff game against the nine through 12 seeds. Exact dates have yet to be determined, but the first round will take place the week before Christmas.

After the first round, the final eight teams will play in the current New Year’s Six bowls for the quarter and semifinals – Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton and Peach. The bowls will rotate between the two rounds each year. Higher seeded teams will get to choose which bowl they play at for the quarter and semifinals.

The championship game will be played at a neutral site – Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the first expanded playoff title game on Jan. 20, 2025. Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium will host the following season on Jan. 19, 2026.

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