Say goodbye to the four-team College Football Playoff. The sport's exclusive postseason is expanding and will include 12 teams, starting in 2026. It's possible the timeline gets moved up, but that decision will have to be made by those in charge of the current playoff contract.
Details are starting to emerge concerning the new 12-team playoff format. The tournament will include 12 teams, six of which will include the six highest-ranked conference champions. That ensures a non-Power Five conference champion gets a shot in the postseason. The remaining six teams will be at-large selections.
The four highest-ranked conference champions will get a bye in the first round. The remaining eight teams will be paired up and play at the campus of the higher-ranked team. However, those higher-ranked teams also have the option of moving the game to another venue.
The quarter- and semi-finals will be played at bowl sites. The national championship will be played at a neutral site, per usual.
"The College Football Playoff has released details about its new 12-team playoff 6 conference champions, 6 best non-champions Top 4 seeds get byes First round games hosted ON CAMPUS Quarter- and Semi-finals at bowl sites National Championship at neutral site," writes Front Office Sports.
Significant changes across the board, and ones that will impact college football for years to come. These changes will be implemented in 2026, though it could be sooner depending on negotiations.
What are your thoughts on college football's new 12-team playoff tournament?