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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

College Football Playoff makes major announcement

College Football Playoff expansion has long been viewed as inevitable, and the official change is coming sooner than expected.

The CFP announced on Thursday that a 12-team playoff will be implemented beginning in the 2024-25 season.

“We’re delighted to be moving forward,” College football executive director Bill Hancock said in a press release. “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.”

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that the Rose Bowl has finally gotten on board with playoff expansion. The previous contract under the four-team playoff system ran through 2025 and required the unanimous approval of the six current participating bowls in order to expand early. Rose Bowl officials wanted special accommodations, namely pertaining to their exclusive playing window in the afternoon/evening on New Year’s Day.

There was essentially a handshake agreement that the CFP will work in good faith to address the Rose Bowl’s concerns, though no guarantees were made. Had the Rose Bowl refused to agree to expansion, they would have risked being cut out of the next CFP television deal.

The 12-team playoff field will be made up of the top six conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams. The top four conference champions will receive a bye in the first round. The four higher seeds that play in the first round will have their choice of hosting the game at their stadium or another site of their choice.

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