College football playoffs expand to include 12 teams by December 2026

The new format is set to begin in 2026, but the board has asked the College Football Administration Committee to implement the expansion sooner, following the 2024 or 2025 seasons.

“More teams, more participation, more excitement is good for our fans, alumni and student-athletes,” said Mississippi president and chairman of the College Football Playoff Administrative Committee. Mark Keenum said.

“I would like to thank my colleagues on the Board for their thoughtful approach to this issue, their determination to expand beyond the target line, and the extensive work of the Executive Committee in making this decision possible.”

The four-team playoff format began during the 2014 college football season. This follows decades of bowl championship series where two teams are selected in a bowl game designated as a national championship contest.

Keenum continued, “We are very happy to have achieved this. We are looking forward to the expansion. The four-team playoff has been extremely popular and successful. This new format I believe it will be even more popular and successful.”

A 12-team playoff would require 11 games, eight more than the current format.

The board said a group of 11 college presidents and presidents would qualify for the six highest-ranked conference champions by the selection committee and six other highest-ranked teams. .

The top four conference champions will receive a first round bye.

The remaining eight teams will play four games. The 12th seed is 5th, the 11th is 6th, the 10th is 7th, and the 9th is 8th.

Four quarterfinal games and two playoff semifinal contests are played as bowls, with a different host site each year.

National Championship matches are played at neutral locations. Atlanta is the scheduled host for the capping 2024 season’s 2025 games, while the 2025 season’s title game will take place in Miami.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said his league officials were very happy with the news.

“Since it was first proposed by the College Football Playoffs Working Group last June, we have been staunch proponents of a 12-team playoff model that includes six of the highest-ranking conference champions, and the CFP Board has unanimously voted for this. I supported the model,” he said.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yeomark tweeted: It was a great day. With his bigger field in the playoffs, fans will be more interested and the regular season will be more important.

Pac-12 officials say expanding the field is “the right thing to do for student-athletes and fans.”

Georgia is the defending national champion of the Division I Football Bowl subdivision and entered the playoffs as the third seed after losing the conference championship game.


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