Sep 2, 2022 - Sports

College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams

Georgia Bulldogs DL Jordan Davis (99) holds up the National Championship Trophy.
Georgia Bulldogs DL Jordan Davis holds up the National Championship Trophy. Photo: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The College Football Playoff's board of managers voted Friday to expand its four-team format to include 12 teams, the CFP said

The big picture: The conferences involved in postseason college football could potentially make $2 billion in media rights, AP writes.

Driving the news: The CFP's board, which includes a group of university presidents, announced that the new 12-team format will begin during the 2026 college football regular season.

  • The College Football Management Committee, which includes commissioners from 10 conferences and Notre Dame's athletic director, will determine if the playoff can be added in the 2024 or 2025 season.
  • Conference leaders have been negotiating the details of the arrangement for at least 14 months, AP reports.

Who's playing: The 12 teams will include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the top six highest-ranked teams that are not conference champions.

  • The top four will be seeded No. 1 to No. 4 and will receive a first-round bye.
  • The remaining eight teams will compete in first-round games. Higher seeds will host lower seeds either at their respective campus or at a neutral site.
  • No. 12 will visit No. 5, No. 11 will play at No. 6, No. 10 will play at No. 7 and No. 9 will compete with No. 8.

When they're playing: First-round games would likely happen in the second or third weekend in December, the CFP said.

  • Four quarterfinal games and two semifinals will be played in bowl games, which will be selected on a rotating basis.
  • The national championship will remain unchanged.

The intrigue: Due to the new format, conferences could earn an additional $450 million over the final two years of its current deal with ESPN, which runs through 2025, AP reports.

Yes, but: There isn't a TV contract for the CFP setup after 2025.

  • The expanded playoff format also means there's a potential new TV deal for the open market on the horizon, AP reports.

Go deeper: Big Ten Conference reaches record media rights deal

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