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CFP to begin 12-team format in 2024-25

Andy Lyons / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The College Football Playoff will expand to a 12-team format during the 2024-25 season, the CFP board of managers announced Thursday.

"On behalf of the management committee and the board of managers, this is thrilling," executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. "It's been a long process, but we are pleased that more teams and more students will have the opportunity to compete for the national championship beginning in the 2024 season. A new era of college football is about to begin. I look forward to it."

The expansion was given the green light after Rose Bowl organizers signed an agreement allowing the CFP to expand to 12 teams in 2024 and 2025, sources told ESPN's Pete Thamel on Wednesday.

University presidents and chancellors overseeing the CFP sought a final decision from Rose Bowl organizers regarding altering their contractual agreements to pave the way for the playoff field's early expansion.

Rose Bowl organizers asked CFP officials to guarantee that they keep the game's traditional date and time on New Year's Day in future iterations of the playoff in 2026 and beyond. However, the CFP's executive board reportedly denied the request. It's unlikely that any guarantees can be made since the CFP's current contract with ESPN expires after the 2025 playoff.

To expand from four teams to 12 ahead of the 2024 season, officials from all six CFP bowls needed to unanimously agree before the deal with ESPN expired.

CFP executives unanimously voted in September to expand to a 12-team playoff by no later than 2026. The new format would see the six highest-ranked conference champions receive automatic berths, with the next six highest-ranked teams also earning postseason spots. The top four seeds get byes in the opening round.

The first round of games would be played in the higher seeds' home stadiums or at another site picked by the higher-ranked program. The quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in a rotation of the six bowl games.

The Rose Bowl will host a quarterfinal game in both 2024 and 2025. The 2024 semifinals will be played in the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and the Peach Bowl will host the 2025 semis.

The first national championship game of the 12-team format will be held in Atlanta, while Miami will host the following year's final.

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