How are the College Football Playoff teams selected?
The CFP Selection Committee has been selecting four teams for the College Football Playoff since 2014. In 2024, however, the selection process will change
The College Football Playoff is the championship tournament for NCAA Division I FBS Football and is the highest level of college football. Being selected to the CFP is an honor for any player, let alone winning the championship.
Only four teams, however, compete for the College Football Playoff National Championship. Let’s take a look at how these teams are decided.
How are teams selected for the College Football Playoff?
The CFP Selection Committee, which consists of 13 members, decides the teams making the College Football Playoffs. These members are a combination of coaches, former players, athletic directors, college administrators, and journalists. There is usually a former Athletic Director from each of the Power Five Conferences (SEC, PAC-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC). The Committee is responsible for determining the top four teams that will make up the Playoffs and be placed into Playoff Semifinal bowl games.
The winners of those games will then face each other in the CFP National Championship game. The CFP Selection Committee also has other responsibilities, like casting votes to rank the top 25 Division I teams weekly over a six-week period throughout the season. The final selection of these rankings and determination of which teams will be in the CFP happens on what’s known as Selection Weekend.
CFP Seeding process
The top four ranked teams selected by the Committee are slotted into the CFP bracket; the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed at a bowl game and No. 2 plays No. 3 at another bowl game. The winner of the two semifinal games then play each other in the CFP National Championship game.
Why will the 2024 season be different?
The determination process listed above of how teams are selected has been the same since 2014. This year, however, the CFP Management Committee unanimously voted to expand the Playoffs to 12 teams. The idea is that the 12 teams will be decided upon by the same Committee between the six-highest-ranked conference champions and the six-highest-ranked non-conference champions. The four top-seeded teams will receive a first-week bye and the remaining eight teams will play in the first round (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, No. 9 at No. 8). Then the four quarterfinal, two semifinal games, and the CFP National Championship game will be played at bowl games on a rotating basis.
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