The long-awaited expansion of the College Football Playoff is set to happen in 2024.
The CFP officially announced Thursday that it will expand into two seasons. The expansion announcement comes after an agreement with the Rose Bowl as part of the expanded playoffs.
“We are pleased to be moving forward,” CFP director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “When the board asked the CFP board to explore the possibility of expanding the playoff competition starting in 2026 and starting a new format, the board did the right thing. More teams and more access means more fans, alumni, students and more excitement. Student-athletes, six We appreciate the cooperation of the leaders of the bowl games and the two future national championship host cities. We all recognize that this change is in the best interest of college football and came together to make it happen.”
as Sports Illustrated reported Monday, the Rose Bowl playoff was the final hurdle preventing early change. CFP officials reportedly issued an ultimatum to Rose Bowl organizers weeks ago, giving them a month-end deadline to agree to the proposal.
The Rose Bowl will be a quarterfinal game in both the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
According to the playoffs, the first round will begin the week of Saturday, December 21. Four quarterfinal games will be played at bowl sites, meaning teams ranked 1-4 who receive first-round byes will not compete. A chance to host a home playoff game.
The national title game for the 2024 playoff tournament will take place on January 20, 2025 and the quarterfinals will be played near New Year’s Day.
Why did the Rose Bowl take so long to agree to CFP expansion?
The Rose Bowl is said to be stonewalling the CFP with the intention of maintaining its status and structure as much as possible. First, it requested that it be allowed to keep its traditional Jan. 1 window in future playoffs, with the intention of hosting Big Ten and Pac-12 teams when its playoff game does not fall on New Year’s Day.
CFP officials reportedly rejected the idea. The next phase of the Rose Bowl is a proposal that would relinquish control over New Year’s Day, but allow for one semifinal every three years, instead of two quarterfinals for each semifinal in the currently scheduled cycle. That didn’t go well either.
If the Rose Bowl doesn’t agree to the change, it reportedly faces the prospect of dropping college football’s most storied bowl from the New Year’s Six bowl cycle in the CFP’s next contract.
Instead, the granddaddy of them all apparently ditched the special treatment, and now it looks like the College Football Playoff has all the support it needs to move forward with its lucrative expansion plans. The expanded sector is said to generate gross revenue of $450 million by 2024.
What would an expanded College Football Playoff look like?
Under the new system, the top six conference champions from the 10 active conferences, plus the six wild card teams, would make the playoff field, guaranteeing a spot in a group of five. The top four conference champions will receive byes into the quarterfinals, while the remaining eight teams will play first-round games on the home courts of higher-ranked teams.
Six New Year’s bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach) will host the quarterfinals and semifinals, with each bowl receiving a semifinal every three years.
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