The College Football Playoff is officially expanding to a 12-team field for the 2024 season, the CFP committee announced Thursday.
When the playoff expansion was originally announced, there was a possibility it wouldn’t begin until 2026 due to current bowl contracts.
However, those have been resolved, paving the way for a 12-team field beginning in 2024.
This is tremendous news for teams like the Kentucky Wildcats, who would have been a strong contender for playoff berths in 2018 and 2021 had the field been 12 teams instead of just four. UK finished ranked inside the top 15 of the final AP Top 25 Poll in both seasons.
The first round of the playoff in 2024 will take place the week of December 21st at either the home field of the higher-seeded team, or at another site designated by the higher-seeded institution. (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, and No. 9 at No. 8.)
The specific game dates, likely late in that week, will be announced later.
For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the four quarterfinal games and two Playoff Semifinal games will be played in bowls on a rotating basis. The 2024 quarterfinals will take place in the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals.
The 2025 quarterfinals will take place in the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals. Specific dates for all quarterfinal and semifinal games will be announced at a later time.
The national championship games will be played January 20th, 2025, in Atlanta (GA), and January 19th, 2026, in Miami (FL).