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College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams starting in 2024

Now official.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 19 College Football Playoff Press Conference Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now officially, we have just one more season after this one which will use the four team playoff format. The College Football Playoff will move to a 12 team format in 2024, following the Rose Bowl’s decision to get out of the way on Wednesday.

Under the new structure, the top four seeds would receive a bye. No. 5 would then play No. 12, No. 6 vs. No. 11, No. 7 vs. No. 10 and No. 8 vs. No. 9. All of these first round games will be played on campuses, with the lower seed hosting.

The top four conference champions would be ranked 1-4 and receive the bye. The final two guaranteed spots will be the next two highest ranked conference champions, which guarantees a spot for the highest ranked group of five team, regardless of ranking.

Here’s how it would look at things stand with this year’s rankings. Just imagine a Tennessee-Kansas State matchup at Neyland Stadium in late December with everything on the line. The winner would advance to the Rose Bowl to face No. 2 Michigan in the next round.

“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.”

For college football fans, this is fantastic. The regular season still means everything, and getting that conference title to clinch the bye means a ton. This is also going to give the Boise/UCF types a fair shake.

Now instead of debating 4-5-6, the focus will be on the 11-12-13-14 range. For reference, Washington, Florida State and LSU would be the first three teams out using this week’s ranking.

Some will argue that it’s too many teams. Some will say that it won’t change the outcome. But to me, more football is never bad. More teams with a shot at it is still exciting. Will we see some blowouts? Absolutely, just as we’ve seen with the four-team format. Getting the first round on campus is also exciting.

So two years from now, we’ll be getting ready to set the 12-team field.