College Football Playoff adopts 5-7 format for 12-team playoff

By Kevin Kelley -

The College Football Playoff (CFP) has adopted a new format for the 12-team playoff, according to an announcement by the CFP Board of Managers on Tuesday.

The 2024 season will mark the first for the College Football Playoff with an expanded 12-team field. Under the new format, the 12-team field will include the five highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next seven highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP Selection Committee (5-7 format).

Previously, the plan called for the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams. Due to 10 teams departing the Pac-12 Conference last year, the format was revised to the 5-7 version.

“This is a very logical adjustment for the College Football Playoff based on the evolution of our conference structures since the board first adopted this new format in September 2022,” said Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and Chair of the CFP Board of Managers. “I know this change will also be well received by student-athletes, coaches and fans. We all will be pleased to see this new format come to life on the field this postseason.”

The College Football Playoff this fall will begin with four first-round games that will be played on the campus of the higher-seeded team. In 2024, one game will be played on Friday, Dec. 20 with the remaining three games played on Saturday, Dec. 21.

The quarterfinals in 2024 will be contested on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2024 (Vrbo Fiesta Bowl) and Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2025 (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl Game, and Allstate Sugar Bowl).

The College Football Playoff Semifinals for the 2024 season are slated for Thursday, Jan. 9, 2025 at the Capital One Orange Bowl and Friday, Jan. 10, 2025 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will follow on Monday, Jan. 20, 2025 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

Below is the complete list of games with kickoff windows for the 2024 season:

2024 Season

First Round (On-Campus)

  • Friday, December 20, 2024: One Game (evening)
  • Saturday, December 21, 2024: Three Games (early afternoon, late afternoon and evening)


  • Tuesday, December 31, 2024: Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (evening)
  • Wednesday, January 1, 2025: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (early afternoon), Rose Bowl Game (late afternoon) and Allstate Sugar Bowl (evening)


  • Thursday, January 9, 2025: Capital One Orange Bowl (evening)
  • Friday, January 10, 2025: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (evening)

CFP National Championship

  • Monday, January 20, 2025: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

College Football Playoff Schedule

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Comments (46)

With how often title games since the dawn of the Bowl Coalition era in 1992 have matched two Southern teams, I think it would be better if the 12-team CFP is divided along the Mason-Dixon line, with the top 6 teams from outside the South as defined by the US Census Bureau competing for one bid in the title game, and the top 6 teams from the South as defined by the USCB competing for the other.

The highest ranked G5 champion would take the place of what would be the sixth-ranked team in one of the regions if they are ranked low enough in the final CFP rankings. If the G5 team is from the MAC, MW, or is Army, New Mexico State or Temple they would be in the part of the bracket with teams from outside the South. If the G5 team is anyone else they would be with the other teams from the South. If the G5 champion happens to be one of the top 6 from one of the regions, then they would not replace another team.

This format allows teams in conferences who didn’t win their conference as well as independent Notre Dame to earn first-round byes, something which would be prohibited under the 5+7 format.

Face it if ND is #1 in the final CFP rankings then by all means they should get a first-round bye.

Perhaps the dumbest idea of them all.

Stop making up problems to solve.

What is the purpose of the college football title game? To pit the two best teams against each other or try to make it easier for a team that doesn’t deserve to be in the game to get into the game?

It’s absurd to split the playoff based on a map.

Z-Man you are making life very miserable for College Football Fans by your trashy Comments that makes crappy zero sense out of everything & you keep doing this you are grounded from watching College Football in 2024.

Dan Rakow I thought you were going to stop you must be a Trump supporter because you lied and Trump supporters lie as much as Trump himself.

Also there is precedent. The NCAA has divided their lower division championships by geography for decades and did so in D1 in the past they still do to some extent.

To the person mocking my name, you are disrespecting precedent just like the Supreme Court did when they overturned Roe V. Wade. I don’t take kindly to people who disrespect precedent.

Lay off my brother please I’m not asking that much. I told you he’s very sensitive.

So, yeah, I cannot approve of a system that punishes Notre Dame just because they are not in a conference or allows for title games with two Southern teams. It is long overdue that the South lose its status as the dominant region in top-level CFB.

A dumb idea is a dumb idea.

Even if dreamed up by someone who is “sensitive.”

There is a reason why lower divisions might use geography, to limit travel costs, increase gates by playing opponents close by… but at the highest level of college football, using geography to determine seeding is ridiculous.

This whole “everyone gets a trophy” crowd is the real problem.

It will be interesting to see which former G5 league gets into the top five in 2024 and beyond. Will it consistently be one league or will they alternate? My money is on the Sun Belt for 2024.

By all indications it appears we’ll only be concerned of this issue for the next two seasons.

I am surprised that the two semi-final games are not on the same day. As the winner of the Orange Bowl will have an extra day of rest for the National Championship.

All the examples I have seen, have the G5 champ as the 12th and last seed….. no matter how high that team is actually ranked. That means that the G5 champ will always play the #5 seeded team…. most likely a SEC or Big Ten school. That would result in probable elimination every year…. is that really fair for the G5 conferences?

There just assuming that will be the case based on pass experience, but in 2021 Cincinnati. which was in the American at the time, would have been the #3 team and received a bye into the quarter finals. If a G5 champion finishes higher than 12 in the ranking they will be higher than the lowest seed Though they were ranked #4, they would have got the higher seed over Georgia as a conference champ which Georgia was not.
The seeds in 2021 under the old 6+ model theoretically would have been.

1..Alabama (Conference Champ)
2. Michigan (Conference Champ)
3. Cincinnati (Conference Champ)
4. Baylor (4th highest ranked conference champion even though they were #7 overall)
5. Georgia (at large)
6. Notre Dame (at large)
7. Ohio State (at large)
8. Ole Miss (at large)
9. Oklahoma State (at large)
10 Michigan State (at large)
11.Utah (Conference Champ)
12 Pittsburgh (Conference Champ)

BTW that year would also have not fit Z man’s north/south split as only 4 of the qualifiers (5 if you count Okie State) were from the south.

I was wondering the same question. Closest I found was in 2018 UCF was #8 and in the American Conference. Washington was winner of the PAC 12 and #9 in the final Committee rankings. Notre Dame was #3 that year, but in the new 2024 way to pick it would have been #1 Alabama, #2 Clemson, #4 Oklahoma and #6 Ohio State would be the highest 4 seeds with Conference Championships. (rankings are the Dec 3 2018 rankings).

At large would have been #3 Notre Dame, #5 Georgia, #7 Michigan #8 UCF #9 Washington #10 Florida #11 LSU and #12 Penn State

I can not think of a third example in the 4 team playoff example.

I can go way back to BYU getting a championship in 1984 before even the BCS

Z-Man I only wish you can like Conference Games in College Football they are 114% more important than OOC games except three or four OOC games are excellent five is very poor for College Football Conferences like Conference games & Networks like CBS,ESPN,FOX & NBC likes Conference games too and highly like to have Conference games televised & only wish you give Conference games that are not so attractive a chance instead of talking negative about it & should think of other College Football Fans instead yourself & If I were the Commissioner Of Big Ten & a Millionaire I would give all Money to help & support Autistic people. Good News Z-Man Dan Rakow is Nikki Haley supporter & very much against Donald Trump.

Keeper, I asked a national College Football writer that very question. The answer is “no”. At first I thought that it would be unfair for those teams to not get a bowl game, but fans who were happy to make the playoffs will be less enthusiastic about travelling to a bowl game. They would also not know their destination until 12/21, so making travel arrangements would be problematic.
Making two of the ‘New Years Six’ bowl games semifinal games eliminates four bowl slots for eligible teams, but four top teams won’t go to bowls. There are currently the right amount of bowl games if the goal is to find a bowl for all eligible teams, but not need to give a slot to 5-7 teams. The number of eligible teams will vary from year to year but this year there was one team to few and last year one too many eligible teams.

The first round games ARE the bowl games for the losers. Even if the games aren’t neutral site.

Z-Man stop picking on College Football Fans in south SEC have fantastic fans just much as Big Ten & please treat everything like there all equal.

I don’t mean to pick on them. It’s just that the vast majority of titles in the two-poll era have been won by Southern schools, and I want both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line to have an equal shot at the title.

Under my format last year the first round would have been this:

Byes: 1 Michigan, 2 Washington
First round: 10 Penn State at 7 Ohio State, 9 Oregon at 8 Missouri

Byes: 3 Texas, 4 Alabama
First round: 23 Liberty at 5 Florida State, 11 Ole Miss at 6 Georgia

As an OSU and ND fan I normally don’t root for Michigan a rival of both schools but did so last year because I really wanted a non-Southern team to win the title I also rooted for Washington against Texas.

On second thought Dan 114% supports 5-7 Format & hopefully in 6-12 spots to see smaller FBS schools like Northern Illinois,Bowling Greeen,Boise State & San Jose State should they dominate to be in those positions & 114% like to see Mountain West get more regular TV air time to fill Pac 12 void especially Week 10 where FOX can use a game at 3:30PM time slot & Week 14 Thanksgiving weekend Saturday on CBS also at 3:30PM time slot should CBS get Michigan/Ohio State at Traditional Noon time slot & Dan is pulling for CBS to get Big Ten Granddaddy on them all Michigan/Ohio State. 114% like to see Oregon State & Washington State have a outstanding partnership with Mountain West God Bless & have a safe & happy day.

PS ESPN and Fox should sublicense a package of Big 12 games to CBS Sports, which would put Big 12 football games on CBS, Paramount Network and Paramount+.

Most CBS network Big 12 games would air at noon on Saturdays, except for when an Air Force CIC Trophy game is in the slot, in which case the games air at night. There would also be a Big 12 game on CBS on Black Friday night. Neither ABC nor Fox would be allowed to air a Big 12 game opposite one on CBS.

Games on Paramount Network would likely air at 3:30 PM, and Paramount+ games would air at any PM hour.

Believe me Kevin Dan Rakow never talks about politics on this web page & I blame everything on Z-Man who started it all & did it three times & I would greatly appreciate to please suspend Z-Man for a month from replying at for making political remarks three times & hoping very best that Z-Man will clean his act up.

I would like to see political comments allowed on this public football website covering all teams in North America.

This isn’t an extended family Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas gathering.

The public social influencer Political/business establishment are what have formed the mythical 1A (fbs) national championship.

The Dependent 63 conference members, all the lower tier Trust 6 – Trust 5 – Trust 4 – Trust ? Unis. who somehow makeup the Base of the ESPN FPI, S&P, which magically bestows great & powerful OZ status on the same 10 Teams should be subject to Individual Political/Social influencer- business model opinions.

IMO, Z-Man, Z-man supporters, Z-man detractors are THE most interesting, different, entertaining comments on a social sports website.
Noone is profane towards him which shows a self set public social behavior standard by patrons/users of your website.

I avoid other football social sports websites because of a lack of social restraint by their users.

Dan 114% likes & Dan is A Fan of Week 10 College Football & Dan likes doing a mock schedule for College Conferences & good news Dan is doing for fun of it similar to mock NFL Draft.

I’d like to avoid seeing teams perhaps playing three times in a season. I know that some believe that the 7th best SEC team should be ranked in the top 9, but I’d propose the following:
1. No more than 4 teams from any conference. If you’re in the mighty SEC or Big 10, you’ve still got to be in the top 4 of your conference to make it.
2. Slide teams up and down within each ‘band’ to assure that two same-conference teams don’t meet through the quarter finals. Perhaps this means swapping the 6th and 7th ranked teams so one or both of them aren’t on a path to meet a conference foe in the quarterfinals. Max of one from each conference in slots 1-8-9, 2-7-10, 3-6-11, 4-5-12. These shifts with 5-8 or 9-12 can also be set up to eliminate rematches of nonconference rematches.
3. Semifinal matches should also prioritize eliminating rematches. If 3 then plays 1 in the semis instead of 2, so be it. You’ve got to be able to beat them anyway to be the champs.

Another thing that needs to happen is title games played outdoors in cold-weather cities like Cleveland, Green Bay and East Rutherford. The CFP is already going to have cold-weather games often in the first round so we might as well sometimes do cold-weather title games.

Would love to welcome back snow championship games. Still remember the 1997 MAC championship with Pennington and Moss in the snow.

Also the CFP would be better served if its broadcast rights were divided among the four major networks starting in 2026.

ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC would each get one first round game and one quarterfinal. That way if the end of one game overlaps with the start of another there won’t be a conflict caused by both games airing on the same network.

The semifinals and title game would air on the same network every year and alternate between the four networks like the Super Bowl now does.

Of course ABC and ESPN are owned by the same corporate parent. However I do expect multiple networks and streaming options to explored by College Football bosses to maximize the money!

The NFL makes lots of money having their games on NBC, FOX, CBS, Amazon, ESPN (ABC), NFL Network and Peacock!

Z-Man there are Tons & Tons & Tons of Cheeseheads Packers Fans in South so please start respecting people from the South they enjoy Football just like people in North & do not expect them to be Fans of Big Ten & MAC. I had a Pastor one time at my lifelong Lutheran Church he really likes people from South had them in many of his sermons.