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When will the College Football playoff format expand to 12 teams?

Starting from the 2024-25 season, the College Football Playoff (CFP) will expand to twelve teams following a vote by the NCAA Board of Managers in 2022.

A general view during the national anthem before the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff
Stephen LewUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

In September 2022, the College Football Playoff Board of Managers agreed to expand the CFP field to 12 teams. Initially, they voted to start the 12-team format in 2026, but that has since changed, and it will now officially begin in the 2024-25 season.


How will the 12-team bracket work in the College Football Playoffs?

The 12-team playoff format will comprise the six conference champions that the committee has ranked the highest, plus the six highest-ranked teams that aren’t among the conference champions. The No. 1 - No.4 seeds would be made up of the four top-ranked conference champions, and they will get the first-round bye week; then, the No. 5 - No. 12 seeds will be made up of the remaining eight teams, who will play in the first round.

The first round in 2024 will take place on the week of December 21, either at the home stadium of the top-seed team or at a stadium selected by the top-seed team.

Matchups would be:

  • No. 12 at No. 5
  • No. 11 at No. 6
  • No. 10 at No. 7
  • No. 9 at No. 8

The quarterfinal rounds and semifinal games will be played at rotated bowls in 2024 and 2025:

  • 2024 quarterfinals: Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
  • 2024 semifinals: Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl
  • 2025 quarterfinals: Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
  • 2025 semifinals: Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl
  • 2024-25 season title game: Jan. 20, 2025 in Atlanta
  • 2025-26 season title game: Jan. 19, 2026 in Miami