When the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams in the 2024 season, first-round games will be played on both Friday and Saturday in the third week of December with quarterfinal and semifinal action also spread across multiple days, CFP commissioner Bill Hancock confirmed on Thursday. In an effort to avoid conflict with the TV ratings giant of postseason NFL football, the College Football Playoff semifinals will be played on weeknights so as not to interfere with the NFL Wild Card Weekend slate.
In terms of this season, the CFP is already running into NFL conflicts with the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl is Monday, Jan 1, 2024, but if the NFL has "Monday Night Football" in its usual slot, the game would get moved up to earlier in the day. The Cotton Bowl has already been moved to Saturday, Dec. 30 to avoid conflict.
Under the current four-team format, days of the week for semifinal games have fluctuated while the championship game has been played on Monday nights once the NFL regular season — and the NFL's weekly "Monday Night Football" showcase — had concluded for the season. But with the NFL regular season now creeping into January, and including many games on Saturdays late in the season, the days on the calendar during which the CFP can have the spotlight are more sparse.
As it stands, the proposed dates for the 2024 College Football Playoff are as follows:
- First round -- Friday, Dec 20 (one game) and Saturday, Dec. 21 (three games)
- Quarterfinals -- Tuesday, Dec. 31 (three games) and Wednesday, Jan. 1 (one game)
- Semifinals -- Thursday and/or Friday, Jan. 9-10
- College Football Playoff National Championship -- Monday, Jan. 20
First-round games will be treated as a regular-season game by visiting teams in terms of travel. They are expected to arrive the night before the game and leave upon the conclusion. However, the quarterfinal games will entail a three-night stay, semifinals a two-night stay and the championship game will also be a three-night stay.
Still to be decided is which bowls will be involved in the CFP beginning in 2026. Each of the six existing bowls gave a 30-minute presentation to the commissioners, which was termed more informational than a "pitch" to stay in the rotation. That will be determined at a later date. What else will be determined at a later date is whether ESPN will broadcast all 11 games on its networks or open up a few games to an additional media rights partner.
The expansion to a 12-team field finallyon Dec. 1, 2022 following starts and stops from college football's power brokers. First-round games will be hosted either at home stadiums of the highest-seeded teams in those games or other sites chosen by that programs for logistical purposes. The extra games are expected to general roughly $450 million in television revenue for the CFP and its members.