The workings of the 12-team College Football Playoff: Teams, schedule, and bids explained


College Football Playoff officials have announced that they will introduce a 12-team playoff bracket next season, expanding from the current four-team format. The new format will include the six highest-ranked conference champions, which will receive automatic bids, while the remaining six spots will be filled by the next highest-ranked teams. The top four teams will receive a first-round bye to the quarterfinals.

The first round of the playoffs will take place at either the home field of the higher-seeded team or another site designated by the higher-seeded program during the week of Saturday, Dec. 21. The lower seed will have the opportunity to select the host venue during the first round. The quarterfinals will be played in bowl games, with the semifinals being played in bowls on a rotating basis. The national championship host site will be determined through bids by prospective host sites.

The final CFP rankings for the 2023-24 season have been released, with Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama comprising the top 4 that will compete in the College Football Playoff in the final year before the expanded format is introduced. Utilizing the respective rankings, a projection of what the 12-team bracket would look like for the 2023-24 season has been provided.

The 12-team field for the 2023-24 season will include Michigan, Washington, Texas, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Missouri, Penn State, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma. The exact matchups for the first round have yet to be announced, but predictions have been made based on the rankings.

The CFP schedule for the 2024 and 2025 seasons has also been released, with dates for the first round, quarterfinals, semifinals, and national championship games provided.

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The expansion of the College Football Playoff to a 12-team format is set to bring about significant changes to the way teams are selected and games are played. This new format aims to increase the level of competition and excitement surrounding the playoffs, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds in the coming seasons.