College Football Playoff expansion: 12 teams in 2024 season

The plan to expand the playoffs was publicly unveiled in June 2021 and it took 18 months of haggling and delays before the process was finally complete.

The College Football Playoff announced Thursday that it will expand to a 12-team event beginning in 2024, completing an 18-month process riddled with delays and disagreements.

The announcement comes a day after the Rose Bowl agreed to change its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. This was the final hurdle CFP officials had to clear in order to triple the size of today’s four-team format.

“We thank the directors of the six bowl games and the two future national championship host cities for their cooperation,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “Everyone recognized that this change is in the best interest of college football and have pulled together to make it happen.”

The first round of the new 2024 playoffs will take place in the week ending Saturday, December 21st. The exact dates are still to be determined.

The championship game for the 2024 season will be played on January 20, 2025 in Atlanta. The championship game for the 2025 season will be played on January 19, 2026 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Both are more than a week behind current title game timing.

The expansion is expected to bring approximately $450 million in additional gross revenue to participating conferences and schools.

The plan to expand the playoffs was unveiled in June 2021, but conference commissioners administering the CFP failed to reach the unanimous consensus needed to move the proposal forward. The expansion for the 2024 season was declared dead back in February.

University presidents and chancellors who oversee the CFP stepped in and revived the process over the summer. They approved the original plan for use by 2026 and returned it to the commissioners, directing them to attempt expansion to 2024 if possible.

The College Football Playoffs’ 12-year contract with ESPN runs through the 2025-26 season.

Commissioners no longer had to haggle over the format, but instead had to work through when and where games would be played and whether bowl partners and championship game host cities could accommodate a schedule change for 2024 and 2025.

The Rose Bowl issue was the last to be resolved as organizers of the 120-year-old bowl game were hoping to get some assurances from the CFP that they would keep their precious New Year’s time when new contracts go into effect in 2026 kicked.

Faced with the possibility of being painted as an obstructionist and possibly being eliminated from the extended playoffs in the long term, the Rose Bowl agreed to advance in good faith.

“This is a great day for college football,” said Mark Keenum, Mississippi state president and chairman of the CFP board of directors. “I’m glad we’re able to pull through and start the extended playoffs early. This is very exciting for schools, alumni and everyone involved.” College Football Playoff expansion: 12 teams in 2024 season

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