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College Football Playoff Officially Expanding to 12 Teams

Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) celebrates with the trophy after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Alabama Crimson Tide Versus Georgia Bulldogs On Monday Jan 10 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship At Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis

The College Football Playoff will officially feature 12 teams starting in the 2024 season.

Reports began to circulate late Thursday night that the Rose Bowl had agreed to the expansion, clearing the last obstacle standing in the way of a larger playoff field.

"We're delighted to be moving forward," said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff Committee, "...more teams and more access mean more excitement for fans, alumni, students and student-athletes."

The current format, wherein four teams compete in a two-round, season-ending tournament to decide a National Champion, was first implemented in 2014. Previously, the participants of the National Championship game were selected by the BCS system, which utilized a points-based computer ranking. Prior to the BCS, no official National Championship game was held.

The new system is likely to feature a group of the top-four conference champions who will earn a first-round bye (rankings will continue being produced by the College Football Playoff Committee). Then, the remaining eight teams (the fifth and sixth highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids) will compete for a chance to advance to the second round, where the teams ranked 5-8 will host the teams ranked 9-12.

Round one winners will match up with the top four ranked teams in the second round. These games will consist of four of the New Year's Six Bowl games: the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Rose Bowl, and the Peach Bowl.

The highest-ranked team left standing will choose which of the two remaining Bowls they will participate in heading into the semi-final, and the two remaining teams will compete against each other.

Finally, the winners of the semi-final games will meet at a neutral site to decide the eventual National Champion.

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