College Football Playoff to expand to 12, here is what you need to know

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After a winding process, the College Football Playoff is finally set to expand to 12 teams the FP Board of Managers announced Friday.

The new format will include the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams. It is scheduled to start in 2026 “unless earlier implementation is possible,” according to the press release announcing the decision.

“This is an historic and exciting day for college football,” said Mark Keenum, the President of Mississippi State and the chairman of the CFP Board of Managers. “More teams, more participation and more excitement are good for our fans, alumni, and student-athletes. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the board for their thoughtful approach to this issue and for their resolve to get expansion across the goal line and for the extensive work of the Management Committee that made this decision possible.”

Here are five things you need to know about the expanded playoff.

Top 4 seeds will get byes

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While some will say this makes the regular season irrelevant that is not strictly true. The biggest case of why having a good regular season matters is that the four highest-ranked conference champions will be the top four seeds and each will get a bye in the first round.

While it is unlikely that the No. 12 seed would upset the No. 1 team, this is one less game that they have to play and allows even longer for the players to get healthy and stay rested.

The first round will be on campus

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In what may be the best part of the expanded playoffs, the first round of games will take place either on the higher seeds campus or at a neutral site they choose. Here is how the first round will look:

  • No. 1 through 4 on bye

  • No. 12 at No. 5

  • No. 11 at No. 6

  • No. 10 at No. 7

  • No. 9 at No. 8

The selection committee will stay

College Football Playoff trophy
College Football Playoff trophy

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The selection committee will continue to rank the teams with the “size, composition, and method of selection will remain substantially unchanged.”

It could take effect in 2024 at earliest

(AP Photo/Roger Steinman, File)

While this change will take place no later than 2026, it is possible that the changes will be implemented for the 2024 or 2025 seasons. The logistics for the changes include dates, broadcast partners, and bowl game contracts.

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire