College Football Playoff Announces New 12-Team Format and Playoff Structure for 2024 Season

The 12-team College Football Playoff will include the five highest-ranked conference champions and seven at-large bids, the group’s Board of Managers confirmed on Tuesday.

Set to debut during the 2024 season, the new playoff format reflects the coming dissolution of the Pac-12, which will cease to exist as a Power Five league at the end of this academic year. Previously, the playoff was scheduled to feature a six-plus-six format of six conference champions and six at-large bids.

The vote to revise the format was unanimous, the playoff said.

“This is a very logical adjustment for the College Football Playoff based on the evolution of our conference structures since the board first adopted this new format in September 2022,” Mississippi State President and Board of Managers chair Mark Keenum said in a statement.

“I know this change will also be well received by student-athletes, coaches and fans. We all will be pleased to see this new format come to life on the field this postseason.”

The five-plus-seven arrangement ensures that at least one Group of Five team reaches the playoff in any given season. Under the new format, the playoff will grant first-round byes to the four highest-ranked conference championship while teams ranked No. 5 through No. 12 will meet at the home venue of the higher-ranked team.

From there, the quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the New Year’s Six bowl slate and the national championships will be held at a neutral site.

In 2024, the quarterfinals will be played in the Fiesta, Peach, Rose and Sugar bowls, while the semifinals will be held at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl. The national championship game, set for Jan. 20, 2025, will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The announcement clears one of the largest remaining hurdles facing the playoff before the start of a new television rights deal, which would commence in 2026. According to a report last week in The Athletic, ESPN and the playoff have agreed to a six-year, $7.8 billion deal that will run through 2032.

2024-02-20 16:36:40
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