College Football Playoff game dates set for 2024, 2025 seasons

By Kevin Kelley -

College Football Playoff game dates have been set for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, according to an announcement by the College Football Playoff (CFP) on Tuesday.

The 2024 season will mark the first for the College Football Playoff (CFP) with an expanded 12-team field. Under the new format, the CFP 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 played 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).

Semifinals 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 for the 2024 season is slated for Monday, Jan. 20, 2025 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

Below is the complete list of games with kickoff windows for the 2024 as well as the 2025 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

2025 Season

First Round (On-Campus)

  • Friday, December 19, 2025: One Game (evening)
  • Saturday, December 20, 2025: Three Games (early afternoon, late afternoon and evening)


  • Wednesday, December 31, 2025: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (evening)
  • Thursday, January 1, 2026: Capital One Orange Bowl (early afternoon), Rose Bowl Game (late afternoon) and Allstate Sugar Bowl (evening)


  • Thursday, January 8, 2026: Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (evening)
  • Friday, January 9, 2026: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (evening)

CFP National Championship

  • Monday, January 19, 2026: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

“We are pleased to be able to announce these game dates today,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. “We appreciate the efforts of all the parties involved in finalizing this schedule. This is the next significant step in bringing clarity to the launch of the 12-team playoff format in 2024. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but this is an important milestone along the way.”

Below is more information on the new format from the CFP release:

The field of 12 teams will be comprised of the six conference champions ranked highest by the selection committee (no minimum ranking requirement), plus the six highest-ranked other teams. The ranking of the teams will continue to be done by a selection committee whose size, composition, and method of selection will remain substantially unchanged from the current arrangement. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and each will receive a first-round bye. The other eight teams will play in the first round with the higher seeds hosting the lower seeds either on campus or at other sites designated by the higher-seeded institution.

College Football Playoff Schedule

Comments (23)

Each of the two years 5 of the 7 games will be played in a state with an SEC team in it. Except for the Rose Bowl all the “College” football playoff games will be played at stadiums that house NFL teams.

What do you expect?

College football is now the AAA farm league for the NFL

Yes, that’s why both the first and second round games should be on campus.

Dave, that isn’t something new. College football has been the farm leagues/development leagues for the NFL for many decades now.

Will be interested to see if the NFL gives deference to college football and decides against scheduling games on the Saturday’s where they have typically put double or triple headers.

One thing about the 2024 and 2025 regular season schedules, as they are sort of oddity years. Typically the college football regular season (not including Week 0 and Championship Weekend) is 13 weeks with most teams opening Labor Day weekend. Due to the calendars that fall in 2024 and 2025 Labor Day is 9/2/24 and 9/1/25 so instead of the opening Saturday being a September date those years it will be an August date. The season ends up being 14 weeks those two years. I could see the conferences deciding that it might make sense to give their top teams that extra week off in one of the last two weeks hoping some late season rest gives them an edge if they make the playoff.

If anything the NFL would put their Saturday games on days where the CFP isn’t occurring, which would be December 28 in 2024 and December 27 in 2025. Chances are those days would have minor bowls scheduled for them.

In future years (2026 and later), we could see the college football regular season starting what is now Week 0 (the weekend before Labor Day weekend) and ending the weekend before Thanksgiving, with CCGs Black Friday and that Saturday after. The first round of the CFP could then be the 2nd weekend of Dec and the 2nd round the 3rd weekend of Dec with both rounds on campus (as all schools hosting the 2nd round would have a bye so not play the first round). Then the semis could be NYD and the natty some Monday after.

I’d say make the Rose and Sugar permanent semis and rotate the national title game amongst the Fiesta, Cotton, Peach, and Orange to keep them happy.

Those Friday and Saturday evening games in late December in Madison/Ann Arbor/South Bend/Minneapolis/State College/Columbus, etc., are going to be fun to sit through.

This is really a Reply to Richard.

Dittos. Richard, I agree completely.

1st & 2nd Rounds on Campus.
Twice as close to the NFL Model as Exec. Director Bill Hancock’s “FBS”’s-1A CFP Admin., LLC -Director of BCS, LLC’s special bowl Interests Plan is, which he‘s implementing now.

The 2nd Round is = Important.
Then seeded “FBS” -1A Teams must play on Campus the same as the 5-8 best Programs.

CFP Admin., LLC‘s Bill HANCOCK needs to be ousted from his Special Interests 1st Policies/Practices/Controls.
He has been running “FBS”-1A BCS, LLC- CFB Admin., LLC since Twothousandandeight.
That’s 15 Years of Trust 6, now Trust 5 Conference Playoff Interference.

The 🏈 Championship Series has already shown the successful, merit based, equal Opportunity based on your regular Season empirical Results, Model with 24 earned Spots.

The CFP Admin., LLC “FBowlS”-1A uses the traditional bowl cities Fake Playoff Narrative.

Then, FCS-1AA, in true NFL Style, has the higher seeded / ranked Teams play @ home until the Championship Game.
They do all this from the last Weekend in November, first 3 Weekends in December, Championship Game the First Weekend of January.

The seeding format should really be this:

The top 6 teams from the South (as defined by the US Census Bureau, which would include Maryland) would compete in the Bowden bracket for one spot in the CFP title game.

The top 6 teams from outside the South would compete in the Osborne bracket for the other spot in the CFP title game.


Why should a region only be allowed one team in the championship?

If Georgia and Alabama are the best teams, let them play.

If it’s Ohio State and Michigan (I know, I laughed typing it), let them play.

Why is where the team comes from an issue? Any playoff that does not allow the two best teams to play for the championship is not really a playoff.

The idea is to make Southern teams, which have dominated top-level college football since the 1950s, play teams from outside the South every time if they want to win the natty.

But why?

Why is it a problem to you for southern teams to win the national title?

You’re just making up problems to solve.

How about this… if a team outside the south wants to win a national title… beat a team from the south every once in a while.

You must be a fan of a Southern team, thus you must be objecting to this proposal because you don’t want to see the South lose its title as the most dominant region in CFB.

I got news for you. It is overdue that such a thing happen.

Besides, many NCAA championships have long divided their participants along regional lines in the early rounds for decades although it is not done in D1 as much anymore.

No. I’m a fan of the sport.

And I’m also a fan of not making things up just so I can offer a solution to some made up problem.

You’ve yet to explain why you think teams from a particular region winning the title is a bad thing for the sport.

Or better yet, why do you think the two best teams shouldn’t decide the title just because they come from the same region?

I already stated that many NCAA championships have long divided their participants along regional lines in the early rounds, so there is precedent for my proposal.

Again, that’s not a reason to do it.

So, again, WHY is it a problem, in your opinion, to have two teams from the same region go the country play for the national title.

Everything I am saying is going in one ear and coming out the other.

It’s a problem because it limits appeal. Only people from the South are going to want all-Southern NCGs.

My way ensures that every NCG has a match-up with national appeal.

Dan-ke Z-man,

You kept your calm in the face of the overwhelming belief of Millions of South of D.C. thru TX Fans. “ Hey, Arnold” being a Fan who won’t reveal which Teams he consistently supports & where his tradition of wanting Southeastern/ southwestern States to continue to have more access to the fake college playoff comes from.

“ I’m a fan of the sport.” raises the red Flag of sweeping generalization when I hear anyone use it when you’ve presented a specified Scenario. Hey, Arnold didn’t address the Parameters you referenced.

There are certainly plenty of winning Trust 5 conference Teams + Boise State Broncos North of VA & West North west of TX.

The entire P12, B10, 6 B12, 2 ACC + ND, 1 SEC (MO) that’s 36 Franchises competing for 6 Berths.
13 SEC, 12 ACC, 4 B12 = 29 Programs vying for 6 Spots.

IMO, You’re specific Proposal = well researched, thought out, definitely frames the Playoffs in a national Window VS regional Preference.

Limits appeal?

College football championship game ratings are great… They don’t suffer because terrible teams from north of the Mason-Dixon Line aren’t good enough to play in the game. People want to see the best two teams play for the national title and at the moment, teams in the south are just better than teams not from the south.

That’s not a problem.

Well, it’s a problem if your team just isn’t good enough, I guess, which seems to be the case with you. But instead of holding your team accountable for their lack of ability, you want to change the system to give your team a better chance. Weak stance.

For the record, Todd’s comment has to be comedy. Like why would anyone take seriously the comments of a supposed fan who is paranoid and schizophrenic and thinks the sport is still divided into I-A and !-AA and then puts LLC behind the names of those conferences he thinks are oppressors of his beloved and horrible favorite teams? Talk about red flags.


Dan-ke for reading my thoughts on Z-Man’s specific Point that a Southeastern centric CFP Administration, LLC* National Championship Game doesn’t have national appeal across All Five Trust 5 Conference’s Fan Bases.

I challenge You to go to CFP’s Website.

* Exec. Director Bill Hancock’s organization is officially & legally named exactly the above.
Exec. Director Bill Hancock’s 2008-2013 led organization was officially & legally named Bowl Championship Series, LLC.