College football is getting bigger.
The College Football Playoff’s board of managers voted unanimously on Friday to expand the College Football Playoff model from four teams to 12, which will include the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams determined by a selection committee.
The move to increase the playoff format could come as soon as 2024, although no later than 2026, according to the Associated Press.
“This is a historic and exciting day for college football,” said Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, chairman of the board. “More teams, more participation, and more excitement are good for our fans, alumni, and student-athletes.”
The College Football Playoff’s management committee, made up of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners and University of Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, will meet in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 8 to work on the expansion.
If the 12-team playoff is before 2026, the conferences could make an additional $450 million over the final two years of the contract. In July, George Kliavkoff, commissioner of the Pacific-12 Conference, said he thinks that it is possible for the format to change before the contract ends at the end of the 2025 season.
“It actually wouldn’t surprise me, once we agree on the format, if it happens before the end of the current term,” Kliavkoff said. “Once you agree to the format, why wouldn’t you?”
In February, College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock announced that expanding the playoffs would not be happening for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the last two seasons of the contract. However, College Football Playoff presidents stepped in afterward and pushed to move on with the expansion.