CFP Commitee announces 12-team Playoffs

Jan 9, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines cornerback Will Johnson poses with College Football National Championship trophy at press conference at JW Marriot Houston by the Galleria. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines cornerback Will Johnson poses with College Football National Championship trophy at press conference at JW Marriot Houston by the Galleria. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

IRVING, Texas — The College Football Playoff (CFP) Board of Managers today (Tuesday, February 20) unanimously revised the qualifying criteria for the 12-team event to now include the five highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next seven highest-ranked teams as determined by the CFP Selection Committee.


This is a very logical adjustment for the College Football Playoff based on the evolution of our conference structures since the board first adopted this new format in September 2022," said Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State University and chair of the CFP Board of Managers. "I know this change will also be well received by student-athletes, coaches and fans. We all will be pleased to see this new format come to life on the field this postseason."


This change modifies the original plan, which called for the bracket each year to include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest-ranked teams.


Under the 12-team playoff format that begins this fall, the four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and each will receive a first-round bye, while teams seeded five through 12 will play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team. (The team ranked No. 5 will host No. 12; team No. 6 will meet team No. 11; team No. 7 will play team No. 10; and team No. 8 will meet No. 9.) The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the New Year's Six bowl games, the national championship game will continue to be at a neutral site. No conference will qualify automatically and there will be no limit on the number of participants from a conference.


Members of the CFP board of managers include Neeli Bendapudi – Big Ten Conference (President, Penn State); Tim Caboni — Conference USA (President, Western Kentucky); Jim Clements — Atlantic Coast Conference (President, Clemson); Michael Fitts — American Athletic Conference (President, Tulane); Gordon Gee — Big 12 Conference (President, West Virginia); Jack Hawkins — Sun Belt Conference (President, Troy); Rev. John Jenkins — President, Notre Dame (Independent); Mark Keenum (chair) — Southeastern Conference (President, Mississippi State); Kirk Schulz — Pacific-12 Conference (President, Washington State); Satish Tripathi — Mid-American Conference (President, Buffalo); and Keith Whitfield — Mountain West Conference (President, UNLV).


About the College Football Playoff


The College Football Playoff (CFP) is the event that crowns the national champion in college football. The CFP Selection Committee ranks the top 25 teams at the end of the season, and the 12 playoff participants consist of the six highest ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest ranked teams. The four highest ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and receive a first-round bye. The schools seeded 5–8 will host those seeded nine through 12 in first-round games.


The quarterfinals and semifinals rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This year's quarterfinals will take place on Dec. 31, 2024 and January 1, 2025, while the semifinals will be January 9-10, 2025. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 20, 2025, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. For additional information on the College Football Playoff, visit

CFP release

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