The New College Football Playoff is Here
The countdown is on for the brand new 12-team College Football Playoff. After this season, the 12-team playoff will be the new college football postseason.
But how will the 12-team playoff work?
According to Ross Dellenger, the first round matchups will be played before Christmas. In 2024, one game will be played on Friday, December 20,2024 and the other three matchups will be played on Saturday, December 21, 2024. These first round matchups will take place at the home fields of the higher seeds.
The top four conference champions will get a bye in the first round while the rest of the teams will be ranked from 5-12. If this format was in place last year, TCU would haven been the five seed because they were the top ranked non-conference champion.
The quarterfinals will take place on New Years Eve and New Years Day, while semifinals will take place the week after. The sites of quarterfinals and semifinals will be a rotation of the New Years Six Bowl Games. In the 2024 season, the quarterfinals will be Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, and the Peach Bowl while the semifinals will be the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl. In the 2025 season, the semifinal sites will be the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl.
The main goal for the College Football Playoff Committee was to finish before the Super Bowl and to not compete with the NFL playoffs. The only time College Football will compete with the NFL is in the first round when some matchups will compete against NFL regular season games.
Finally, the national championship will take place two weeks after the semifinals. For the final year of the four team playoff, the National Championship will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. In the inaugural 12-team playoff, the National Championship will take place at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta recently hosted the 2017 National Championship game where the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Georgia Bulldogs, 26-23, after Tua Tagovailoa's 2nd and 26 touchdown pass.
In 2026, the National Title will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. Miami also hosted a recent National Championship in 2021 when the Alabama Crimson Tide beat The Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 52-24.
We are entering a new era of college football where 12 teams make the playoffs and super conferences are normal.