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College Football Board of Managers Revises Playoff Format Beginning in 2024

Updated: Feb 20

New playoff format
© Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK

When college football begins its 2024 season, it will mark the beginning of the 12-team playoffs to determine the National Champion. The College Football Board of Managers voted unanimously to make the new playoff format the five highest-ranked conference champions plus the next seven highest-ranked teams as determined by the selection committee. This marks a change from the original plan of having the top six conference champions plus the next six highest-ranked teams.

Under this new 5-7 format, the top four teams will earn a first-round bye. The remaining eight teams, seeded five through 12, will play each other at the home stadium of the higher-ranked team with the fifth-seeded team hosting the 12th and so on. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the New Year's Six bowl games with the national championship being held at a neutral site. Under the new format, no conference will qualify automatically and there will be no limit as to the number of participants from a single conference.

With the recent conference realignment, the College Football Playoff Committee was put in a position to make a change. The new format will open the door for a group of five schools to a spot in the top five of the seedings and possibly open the door for other teams to qualify in at-large spots. With conference realignments stable for the time being, the change to this format was a logical one. "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.", said CFP Board of Managers Chair Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University.



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