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College Football Board of Managers Revises Playoff Format Beginning in 2024

Updated: Apr 30

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."

- CFP Board of Managers Chair Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University.



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