The College Football Playoff Board of Managers members have agreed that the expanded 12-team CFP field will begin with the 2024-25 season. In September, the board voted to start the 12-team playoff field in 2026, though it left open the possibility of moving that up to 2024 or 2025. Now the 2024 start is official.
Here's how the 12-team playoff bracket would work:
- The 2024 first round will happen the week ending Saturday, Dec. 21 at the home field of the higher seed or at another site determined by the higher seed. Specific game dates will be announced later. The matchups would be No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8.
- For 2024 and 2025, the quarterfinal rounds and the semifinal games will be played at rotated bowls
- 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
As previously announced, the expanded 12-team playoff will be made up of the six conference champions ranked highest by the committee (no minimum ranking requirement), and the six highest-ranked teams not among the conference champions. The four highest-ranked conference champions would be seeded Nos. 1 through 4 and receive first-round byes. The other eight seeds — Nos. 5 through 12 — would play in the first round.