With Rose Bowl decision, green light lit for College Football Playoff expansion

USA TODAY Sports Media Group
USA TODAY Sports Media Group

The last major hurdle to expediting the path to expansion of the College Football Playoff has reportedly been cleared. According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel , and collaborated by Associated Press national college football reporter Ralph Russo , the Rose Bowl will amend its agreements in place to accommodate expansion of the College Football Playoff in the 2024 season.

Each of the College Football Playoff’s contract bowls with automatic tie-ins with the power conferences needed to be on board with making certain changes to accommodate the expanded playoff. The Rose Bowl, insisting on an exclusive time window for its games when not hosting a College Football Playoff game, was the one straggler in the process. But, after apparently being served an ultimatum to get on board or be left out, the Rose Bowl gave in to remain a part of the College Football Playoff.

No matter how it got there, the Rose Bowl’s organizers were never going to let the game be left out of any expanded playoff structure, and the College Football Playoff would have been crazy to level behind the most iconic bowl game in the sport. With the Rose Bowl onboard by any means necessary, all systems appear to be go for an expanded playoff field beginning in the 2024 season.

The new 12-team format will guarantee a spot in the playoff for the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large spots. The top four teams will receive a bye week and the remaining eight teams will play a playoff game on the home campus of the higher seed (5-8).

The next round of the playoff will take place in the current New Years Six bowl structure with bowls rating between quarterfinal and semifinal games each year. The national championship game will continue to be played in a bidding host city as it has each year of the College Football Playoff’s existence.

An official announcement from the College Football Playoff about the expansion could come as early as Thursday.

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