When does College Football Playoff expansion go into effect?

College Football Playoff. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
College Football Playoff. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

College Football Playoff expansion will be happening in the not so distant future, folks.

The College Football Playoff will be expanding from four teams to 12 after next college season.

While the four-team field has served its purpose in the initial nine postseason tournaments, it was only a matter of time before it was going to be expanded. The idea that more than four teams have a realistic shot at winning a national title after championship weekend is still a bit absurd. However, college football is a television product and who would not want to see more cool games?

After Georgia plays TCU in Greater Los Angeles, we will only have one more four-team College Football Playoff, as the field will officially expand to 12 during the 2024 college football season.

College Football Playoff expansion is happening in 2024: What does this mean?

There were a few things that needed to be sorted out before playoff expansion could ever take flight. Some of these obstacles included automatic qualifiers, first-round home games and what to do about the New Year’s Six. With the Rose Bowl finally agreeing to make concessions and be part of the newfangled quarterfinals and semifinals rotation, we finally have some clarity on this.

The expectation for what College Football Playoff expansion will look like will probably include this:

  • 12 teams getting in: 6 highest-ranked conference champions, as well as 6 at-large teams.
  • 4 highest-ranked conference champions will get a first-round bye into the quarterfinals.
  • 8 remaining teams will play first-round games on-campus at higher-ranked team’s stadium.
  • New Year’s Six are the quarterfinals/semifinals (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose, Sugar).
  • The national championship game will still remain being played at a neutral-site location.

The good news for all of us is we have one more year to sort out all the details. The bad news is we may have seen first-hand a fault in this current setup: What happens when a lower-ranked team wins a conference championship? Kansas State upsetting TCU and Utah beating USC in their conference title bouts would have made Clemson and Utah top-four seeds in this current format…

Overall, we cannot be mad at college football for trying to make this more of a national sport. Not having the West Coast part of it for six seasons now is concerning. By going from four to 12 teams this soon, it will afford us the fans more opportunities to see games we were never going to get otherwise. For example, Georgia has never played Utah before, so that matchup would be so cool.

Ultimately, the most important thing that can come from this is more television networks getting involved in the broadcasting of these games besides ESPN. Assuming the likes of CBS, FOX and NBC can get a slice, it will make the entire playoff feel bigger. Not only that, but other networks like CBS, FOX and NBC would be incentivized to promote what has been the ESPN Invitational.

Two years will be here before you know it, so get ready to get ready for playoff expansion, baby!

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