College Football Playoff To Expand To A Dozen By As Early As 2024, But Most Likely 2026

It's all happening.

The 11-member College Football Playoff Board of Managers voted unanimously Friday afternoon on a video call to go from the present four-team-playoff format to 12 teams as early as 2024, the College Football Playoff office in Irving, Texas, announced Friday.

The new 12-team system will most likely not begin until the 2026 regular season "unless earlier implementation is possible" a College Football Playoff release (CFP) said.

Six of the 12 will be the highest ranked conference champions. The other six will be the highest ranked teams not among the first six. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded No. 1 through No. 4 and receive a first round bye.

The Board of Managers, which is made up of university presidents and chancellors, had grown tired of waiting for the College Football Playoff Management Committee (10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick) to increase the number of playoff teams to a more equitable 12 and rushed up this vote.

Now the Board of Managers is telling the Management Committee of commissioners, including the Southeastern Conference's Greg Sankey, to "assess the possibility" of beginning the 12-team playoff as early as 2023 or 2024. Commissioners from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten are among the others on that committee.


"This is an historic and exciting day for college football," said Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, who is chairman of the Board of Managers. "More teams, more participation and more excitement are good for our fans, alumni, and student-athletes."

The four-team playoff began in the 2014 season. The current CFP contract expires after the 2025 season.

More College Football Playoff games is likely going to mean more television networks involved with FOX, CBS and NBC expected to try to join ESPN.

"The four-team playoff has been highly popular and successful," Keenum said. "I believe this new format will be even more successful."

The members of the Board of Managers are Keenum (SEC), Western Kentucky president Timothy Caboni (Conference USA), Clemson president Jim Clements (Atlantic Coast Conference), West Virginia president Gordon Gee (Big 12 Conference), Troy president Jack Hawkins (Sun Belt Conference), Notre Dame president John Jenkins (Independent) Ohio State president Kristina Johnson (Big Ten Conference), Washington State president Kirk Schulz (Pacific-12 Conference), Buffalo president Satish Tripathi (American Conference), SMU president Gerald Turner (American Athletic Conference) and UNLV president Kieth Whitfield (Mountain West Conference).

The College Football Playoff Board Approved The Following:

OutKick 360: CFB Playoff Expansion Reaction

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Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.