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College Football Playoff Expanding to 12 Teams by 2026 Season

Was only a matter of time.

NCAA Football: 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a “Board of Managers” meeting earlier today, it is being reported that the College Football Playoff will expand from four teams to 12 teams by the 2026 season.

The four-team model still has four seasons left which is why 2026 is being reported as the working target, but as Thamel reports, the expansion to 12 teams could happen as soon as 2024 because of one major reason: money.

While there are still details to be ironed out, it looks like the top four teams will receive a bye for the first round. Teams 5-12 will then play at the homefield of the higher seed, with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship game taking place at rotating bowl sites.

Personally, my only real take on this is that it was bound to happen. I mean, I was plenty fine with the two-team BCS National Championship Game growing up, so an expansion to four, six, eight, or whatever is all the same to me at this point. My only hope at this point is that the quarterfinals will be played at college campuses, too. When Penn State gets the No. 1 seed, I want that game played in Happy Valley — not Arlington, Texas or Santa Clara, California.