The Rose Bowl Caves, & We Officially Have A 12-Team College Football Playoff Set For 2024 & 2025

Rose bowl
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For college football fans, it’s Christmas Day.


Because the Rose Bowl has cleared the way for a 12-team College Football Playoff by 2024 and 2025, according to CBS.

The Rose Bowl signed an agreement with the College Football Playoff to make it happen, as the CFP had given the Rose Bowl to the end of the week to make things official.

The new format was agreed upon by the CFP Board of Managers in September.

If the Rose Bowl had refused the new proposal, it would have delayed the expansion until 2026 after the CFP’s current contract with ESPN ends. That would have cost parties involved an estimated $450 million in added revenue, and the Rose Bowl may have been left out of the selection process if a new contract was signed.

The Rose Bowl had proposed hosting the CFP quarterfinals in 2024 to 2025, maybe even without the Big Ten and PAC-12, in exchange for keeping its time slot as part of the CFP’s new media rights contract that begins in 2026, but that offer was refused.

A person apart of the CFP was asked what leverage the Rose Bowl had in the process, and they said they have “none.”

One CFP bowl official said the early expansion would have been impossible after this upcoming weekend’s conference championships, along with the rush of bowl and playoff season.

The CFP is in its ninth year of its 12 year deal with ESPN that officially ends in 2025. All necessary parties involved other than the Rose Bowl had agreed to expand to 12 teams for the 2024 and 2025 season.

The 10 FBS conferences, Notre Dame, and the New Year’s Six bowls agreed on the the issues of playing at campus sites, dates of games, and revenue distribution for early expansion, but the agreement needed to be early and unanimous.

Every year, every BCS/CFP scheduling decision until now has surrounded the Rose Bowl being held at 5 PM on or near New Year’s Day, as it’s been scheduled after the Tournament of Roses Parade.

But with the CFP ready to expand, they began to care less to meet the Rose Bowl’s demands.

One industry source weighed in on the 5 PM time slot:

“It’s the equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday. New Year’s Day is kind of like a Sunday, even if it’s not on a Sunday. Everybody is hung over from New Year’s Eve.

They’re sitting back, it’s 5 o’clock. Everybody is done with what they need to do. It is the best window that there is.”

The main reason to expand the playoffs is to give more playoff access to teams, along with adding an extra $450 million per year from ESPN so it could air the additional games in 2024 and 2025.

According to, the first round of the playoff in 2024 will take place the week ending Saturday, December 21, at either the home field of the higher-seeded team or at another site designated by the higher-seeded institution. (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, and No. 9 at No. 8.) The specific game dates, likely late in that week, will be announced later.

For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the four quarterfinal games and two Playoff Semifinal games will be played in bowls on a rotating basis. The 2024 quarterfinals will take place in the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals. The 2025 quarterfinals will take place in the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals.

The national championship games will be played January 20, 2025, in Atlanta, and January 19, 2026, in Miami.

As a college football fan, I absolutely love the fact that we’ll have even more football to watch, and see if we have an underdog team win their way through a 12 team playoff and become an unlikely champion.

Of course, I have my concerns about the health of players, and fans having the ability to travel to that many games in a single season, but I do believe the pros outweigh the cons in this situation.

I guess we’ll find out for sure in 2024-2025.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock