The newly extended 12-team playoff will debut during the 2024–2025 season, according to members of the College Football Playoff (CFP) Board of Managers.
“We’re delighted to be moving forward,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. “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 first round of the playoffs in 2024 will take place the week ending on Saturday, December 21, either at the higher-seeded team’s home ground or at a different location chosen by that team. (No. 12 at No. 5, Nos. 11 and 10 at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively.) Later, the precise game dates—likely toward the end of that week—will be revealed.
The two Playoff Semifinal games and the four quarterfinal games will alternately be played in bowls for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Sugar Bowl will host the 2024 quarterfinals, while the Playoff Semifinals will be held in the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl. The Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Sugar Bowl will host the 2025 quarterfinals, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will play home to the 2025 playoff semifinals. All quarterfinal and semifinal matchups’ exact dates will be revealed later.
“On behalf of the Management Committee and the Board of Managers, this is thrilling,” Hancock added. “It’s been a long process, but we are pleased that more teams and more students will have the opportunity to compete for the national championship beginning in the 2024 season. A new era of college football is about to begin. I look forward to it.”
“This is a great day for college football,” said Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and chairman of the CFP Board of Managers. “I’m glad we are able to follow through and launch the expanded playoff early. It’s very exciting for schools, alumni and everyone involved.”