College football playoffs to expand to 12 teams in 2024 as Rose Bowl rolls back: Sources

  • The decision will allow the CFP to expand to 12 teams in time for the 2024 season.
  • In September, the presidents and chancellors who make up the CFP board approved the 12-team model which was originally proposed in June 2021 but has been held up by disagreements among commissioners.
  • The board then called on those commissioners to reopen talks on possibly implementing the 12-team model before 2026, when the original CFP contract expires.


The Rose Bowl wanted assurances from CFP management that its game would continue to be played at 5 p.m. ET on New Year’s Day in an exclusive broadcast window. He wanted that valuable time slot even in years when the Rose Bowl wasn’t a CFP quarterfinal game, which would throw a wrench in the schedule and how the new playoffs would work. This assurance would also represent a special treatment that no other bowl receives.

The Rose Bowl’s refusal to breach its current contract, which runs through the 2025-26 season, would have ended any hopes of early expansion.

“The Rose Bowl Game continues to be open to the possibility of an early expansion of the existing playoffs. Although we requested specific contractual assurances in our initial discussions with the College Football Playoffs, we remain open to those discussions. “, said the match organizers in a statement to The Associated Press earlier in November. “We do not intend to be the only obstacle preventing the expansion from happening before the end of its cycle. current.”

“As the only New Year’s Six Bowl with an independent contract, we are working hard to navigate our existing agreement,” said Laura Farber, chair of the Rose Bowl management committee. told ESPN. “While we are ready to work in some areas, we have maintained that an exclusive broadcast window on January 1 at 2:00 p.m. PT is important for the Rose Bowl Game.”

What it will look like (probably)

So, we know the basic framework of the 12-team CFP, because that’s what was approved earlier this fall. The six top-ranked FBS Champions will have guaranteed access, and the remaining six spots will go to the top overall teams. The top four seeds will receive first-round byes and numbers 5-8 will host on-campus matches for the first round. The rest of the rounds will be played on the boules sites.

Dates for first-round matches in 2024 and 2025 haven’t been fully locked in yet – and they can’t until ESPN approves them and figures out its TV windows – but for now , they are expected to take place on the third weekend of December, two weeks after the conference championship games, and will be played on Friday and Saturday. This means that some games will go head-to-head with NFL regular season games played that Saturday.

It is possible that the schedule will change for the new CFP contract from 2026; if the entire season moves into what is now called Week 0, that alleviates some of the stress on the end of the playoff schedule. Issues related to 2026 and beyond will be resolved in the future. — Auerbach

Compulsory reading

(Photo: Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

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