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Details Of The New 12-Team College Football Playoff Emerge On Thursday

The Rose Bowl Game logo

Winter is coming, and in 2024, it'll include a 12-team playoff.

The Rose Bowl and College Football Playoffs reached an agreement to expand the playoffs to a 12-team format in the final two seasons of the Rose Bowl's current contract (2024 and 2025).

The College Football Playoff board of managers voted in September to expand the playoffs to 12 teams in 2026. Expanding as quickly as 2024 and 2025 proved more difficult, but the final barrier — the Rose Bowl contract — was announced cleared on Thursday.

"We're delighted to be moving forward," CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a prepared statement released Thursday. "When the board expanded the playoff beginning in 2026 and asked the CFP Management Committee to examine the feasibility of starting the new format earlier, the Management Committee went right to work. More teams and more access mean more excitement for fans, alumni, students and student-athletes."

The Rose Bowl was the last of the six contract bowls to amend its agreement. ESPN reported that earlier this week, the Rose Bowl was given an ultimatum to agree to terms or risk being shut out of the next television contract, beginning in 2026.

"We appreciate the leaders of the six bowl games and the two future championship-game host cities for their cooperation," Hancock said. "Everyone realized that this change is in the best interest of college football and pulled together to make it happen."

The first round of the playoffs in 2024 will take place the week ending Dec. 21. The matchups will be No. 12 at No. 5; No. 11 at No. 6; No. 10 at No. 7; and No. 9 at No. 8.

The top four teams get a bye.

Bowl locations will be on a rotating basis for the four quarterfinal and two semifinal games in 2024 and 2025. The 2024 quarterfinals will take place at the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl host the semifinals. The 2025 quarterfinals will take place at the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl host the semifinals.

Atlanta and Miami will host the national championship games on Jan. 20, 2025 and Jan. 19, 2026, respectively.