The College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams beginning in 2024, it was officially announced on Thursday.
The new 12-team playoff was initially announced in September with a start date for the 2026 season. A few hurdles remained in order to kickoff the new format in 2024, which were cleared up this week. Chief among those was an agreement with the Rose Bowl.
“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.”
Below is information on the new format from the College Football Playoff release:
1. The first round of the playoff in 2024 will take place the week ending Saturday, December 21, at either the home field of the higher-seeded team or at another site designated by the higher-seeded institution. (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, and No. 9 at No. 8). The specific game dates, likely late in that week, will be announced later.
2. For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the four quarterfinal games and two Playoff Semifinal games will be played in bowls on a rotating basis.
3. The 2024 quarterfinals will take place in the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals.
4. The 2025 quarterfinals will take place in the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals. Specific dates for all quarterfinal and semifinal games will be announced at a later time.
5. The national championship games will be played January 20, 2025, in Atlanta, and January 19, 2026, in Miami.
“On behalf of the Management Committee and the Board of Managers, this is thrilling,” Hancock added. “It’s been a long process, but we are pleased that more teams and more students will have the opportunity to compete for the national championship beginning in the 2024 season. A new era of college football is about to begin. I look forward to it.”
“This is a great day for college football,” said Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and chairman of the CFP Board of Managers. “I’m glad we are able to follow through and launch the expanded playoff early. It’s very exciting for schools, alumni and everyone involved.”