College Football Playoff’s long-anticipated expansion appears to be coming sooner than what many expected.
According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, the Rose Bowl has signed an agreement that will allow the CFP to expand to 12 teams for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, two years earlier than previously expected.
The Rose Bowl had been the final holdup from preventing the expansion and CFP officials reportedly issued an ultimatum to Rose Bowl organizers weeks ago, giving them an end-of-month deadline to agree on the proposal.
Under the new playoff-system, the field will include the top six conference champions among the 10 active conferences in addition to six wild card teams, guaranteeing a spot for a Group of 5 team. The top four conference champions will get byes into the quarterfinals, while the remaining eight teams will play first-round games at the higher seeds’ home stadium.
From the quarterfinals on, the games will be played at neutral sites which include The New York Six bowls: Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach. These bowls will cycle through hosting the quarterfinal and semifinal games, with each bowl getting a semifinal game once every three years.
First-round games will reportedly be held in the third week of December. Three quarterfinal games will be played on New Year’s Day, with a fourth on either New Year’s Eve or Jan. 2. The semifinals will follow about one week later, and the championship game, played at another neutral site following.