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New College Football Playoff Schedule Drops


College Football Playoff schedule
© Melanie Maxwell/USA TODAY NETWORK

The College Football Playoff schedule was revealed on Wednesday and for longtime college football fans it could not have been more perfect. In the midst of wedding season, the CFP dropped a save the date fans can actually be excited for.



New Format for the 2024-25 Season

In 2022, it was announced that the CFP would be expanding to from four teams to 12 ushering in a more inclusive era of the postseason. Originally the top six highest ranked conference champions would automatically qualify, with the other six spots up for grabs (based on rankings), however, with the PAC-12 Conference raided for scraps, things were changed to only five automatic qualifiers.


While the top four spots do not matter as much as in previous years, they still hold a significant amount of weight, as the top four ranked teams get a first round bye. The remaining No. 5-12 seeded teams compete for those final four spots in the quarterfinals March Madness style (No. 5 seed takes on No. 12, No. 6 takes on No. 11, No. 7 takes on the No. 10 and the No. 8 seed takes on No. 9).



Television Schedule for Playoff

The entire playoff schedule starts about a week before it typically would as the qualifiers are played on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21. The four quarterfinal games will be played on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 2025. The semifinals will be played on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10. The national championship will be held on Jan. 20.



Benefits of New Format, Schedule

While bowl games are always entertaining, there is less down time between consequential college football games this year than in previous years. The semifinals in the four-team format would typically start around New Year's Eve, almost a month after conference championship week, where now we only have a two-week gap.


College Football Playoff schedule
© Kimberly P. Mitchell/USA TODAY NETWORK

This year has the quarterfinals on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the semis are have been moved past the holidays, with each game getting its own day. With seven overall days of playoff football instead of two, it gives college football fans more opportunities to get to watch the most important games of the season.


Lastly, the National Championship falling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 20) allows fans to watch the finale stress free, instead of being tired after work.


Finally, TNT has inked a new deal with the College Football Playoff, allowing the excellent Turner broadcasters to bring fresh voices just in time for the new format.





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