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College Football Playoff Announces Expansion to 12 Teams Starting in 2024

Adam WellsDecember 1, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: CFP during the College Football Playoff press conference and media roundtable on November 19, 2022, at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The College Football Playoff expansion is official.

The College Football Playoff Board of Managers announced Thursday the field will expand to 12 teams beginning with the 2024 season.

Executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement:

"We're delighted to be moving forward. 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."

The 12-team playoff format was approved by the CFP board of managers in September. The earliest date expansion would take place was 2024, but it could have been delayed until 2026 since the current playoff television contract expires following the 2025 season.

Per the Associated Press, early expansion could be worth an additional $450 million to each of the major conferences over the final two years of the current TV deal.

ESPN's Pete Thamel reported Wednesday the Rose Bowl reached an agreement with the College Football Playoff to finalize the new format for the 2024 season.

Per CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, the Rose Bowl was the final holdout in negotiations because it was "doggedly" trying to hold on to its traditional 5 p.m. ET kickoff on Jan. 1.

Included in Thursday's announcement was the playoff schedule for the first two seasons of the expanded format:

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

Here's the CFP schedule for 2024 &amp; 2025: <a href="https://t.co/lXVl0NRrsu">pic.twitter.com/lXVl0NRrsu</a>

Per Thamel and Heather Dinich, the 12 teams will be determined by the playoff selection committee. The four highest-ranked conference champions will receive the top four seeds. Each of those teams will receive an automatic bye into the semifinals.

The traditional New Year's Six games (Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl) will host the quarterfinal and semifinal games on a rotating basis.

This marks the first expansion for the College Football Playoff since the four-team format was implemented for the 2014 season. The New Year's Six games currently serve as the host sites for the semifinals on a rotating basis.