Dec 1, 2022 - Sports

College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams in 2024

CFP trophy during the College Football Playoff press conference and media roundtable on November 19, 2022.

CFP trophy during the College Football Playoff press conference on Nov. 19. Photo: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The College Football Playoff will officially expand from four to 12 teams beginning in the 2024 season - two years sooner than previously planned, the CFP announced Thursday.

Why it matters: This will allow more top-performing teams to compete for the national championship in the highly anticipated and lucrative end-of-season playoff tournament.

Flashback: In September, the College Football Playoff's board voted to expand the four-team tournament to 12 teams. At the time, the board said the new format would begin in the 2026 regular season, unless "earlier implementation" was possible.

Details: For 2024 and 2025, the quarterfinals and semifinals will take place in different bowl games on a rotating basis.

  • The first round will take place at either the home field of the higher-seeded team or at another site as selected by the higher seed.
  • The 2024 quarterfinals will take place during the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host the CFP semifinal games.
  • For 2025, the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the quarterfinals, and the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the semifinals, according to the CFP.
  • The national championship will take place on Jan. 20, 2025, in Atlanta, and Jan. 19, 2026, in Miami.

What they're saying: "This is thrilling," said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, in a press release. "A new era of college football is about to begin. I look forward to it."

Zoom out: The expansion is a long time coming. Conference leaders have been negotiating details of it for more than a year, AP reports.

  • The new format could bring the conferences a projected $450 million over the last two years of the current TV deal with ESPN, per AP.
  • CFP does not yet have a TV contract beyond 2025, but the television rights for the 12-team format could be worth as much as $1.9 billion, AP reports.

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details.

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