Revised College Football Playoff Format Finalized for 2024

February 26, 2024 by Staff

The College Football Playoff Board approved expanding the playoff field to 12 teams starting in 2024. This change happened because the Pac-12 conference lost 10 of its 12 members to other conferences.

Top Four Seeds for Conference Champs

The top four conference champions will get the best four seeds and first-round byes. They could be ranked lower than some at-large teams, but their seed will only depend on their ranking compared to other champions.

After the top four seeds, the fifth-ranked champion just gets a guaranteed playoff spot. If they are ranked below the at-large teams, they will be the 12 seed.

Higher seeds host first round games. Later playoff rounds happen at traditional bowl sites.

Notre Dame's Unique Situation

Since Notre Dame is independent, they can't be a top four seed no matter their ranking. The best they can do is a five seed. Notre Dame administrators actually helped design this 12-team format.

Early 2024 Playoff Projection

Here is an early prediction of the 2024 playoff teams:

12 Seed - Liberty (C-USA champion)

5 Seed - Oregon (at-large)

11 Seed - Ole Miss (at-large)

6 Seed - Texas (at-large)

10 Seed - Notre Dame (at-large)

7 Seed - Michigan (at-large)

9 Seed - Penn State (at-large)

8 Seed - Alabama (at-large)

4 Seed - Utah (Big 12 champion)

3 Seed - Clemson (ACC champion)

2 Seed - Ohio State (Big Ten champion)

1 Seed - Georgia (SEC champion)

Georgia Still the Team to Beat

Georgia is the preseason number one for 2024. They are way ahead of the pack in early rankings. Quarterback Carson Beck and a loaded roster should keep them motivated after narrowly missing the 2023 playoff.

Ohio State All In for 2024

Ohio State has been aggressive preparing its 2024 roster. Loads of top transfers and Chip Kelly as offensive coordinator show Ohio State is determined to retake the Big Ten throne after three straight Michigan titles. This could be the most talented Buckeyes team ever.

Clemson Back On Top in ACC

Clemson may not be a top 12 team nationally, but as the top-ranked ACC champion they can jump up to the 3 seed. Some elite 2023 recruits on defense have the Tigers looking like the ACC's best. More improvement on offense could make them a playoff dark horse.

Utah Ready to Compete in Big 12

Injuries crushed Utah's hopes of winning the Pac-12 in 2023. Now in the Big 12, a healthy roster led by quarterback Cam Rising makes them a threat to win immediately. Beating out Kansas State and Oklahoma State won't be easy, but Kyle Whittingham could lead Utah to an impressive Big 12 debut.

Oregon Reloading for Another Run

Oregon coach Dan Lanning has blended the transfer portal with top-notch recruiting to build consecutive 10-win teams. Going from Bo Nix to accomplished quarterback Dillon Gabriel keeps Oregon's offense dangerous. With other key players back, Oregon expects to stay in championship contention in their new conference home.

Texas Has High Hopes Again

Losing loads of offensive talent hurts, but elite quarterbacks Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning are still there. Texas also used the transfer portal well to fill other holes. After last year's playoff run, coach Steve Sarkisian and Texas feel ready to replicate that success in 2024.

Michigan Staying Physically Dominant

Michigan is still poised to win with physical line play despite losing head coach Jim Harbaugh and coordinator Josh Gattis, among others. Sherrone Moore was key in Michigan's title run and takes over as head coach. New offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and defensive coordinator Tom Allen, bring new energy. Running back Donovan Edwards will lead a powerful run game. Player development will keep Michigan among the Big Ten's best.

Alabama Reloading Under New Coach

Losing some elite recruits hurts, but most departures happened before coach Nick Saban retired. New coach Kalen DeBoer is still working the portal to stack talent. With DeBoer's history of winning and Alabama's annual top-three recruiting classes, expect them to contend despite Saban's absence.

Penn State Could Surprise

Led by quarterback Drew Allar and star running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen, Penn State's offense is ready to shine. New coordinators have generated excitement. After player development success recently, James Franklin seems to have Penn State positioned well to compete at a high level in the crowded Big Ten.

Notre Dame's Missing Piece?

With 19 wins in two years, coach Marcus Freeman has Notre Dame competing consistently. Adding quarterback Riley Leonard and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock from LSU's record-setting 2023 offense could give Notre Dame the firepower to finally break through into championship contention. The expanded playoff boosts those odds further.

Ole Miss Striking While Hot

Key transfer additions give Ole Miss the chance to sustain recent success. A fairly easy 2024 SEC schedule means another year of double-digit wins and playoff contention could happen if new pieces gel quickly.

Liberty Leads Group of 5 Contenders

Getting star quarterback Kaidon Salter to remain at Liberty after entering the transfer portal gives them an edge for the Group of 5's automatic bid. Salter won Conference USA MVP already, and should have Liberty ranked high nationally again as they compete for a New Year's Six Bowl.

Sports Betting Popular in North Carolina

North Carolina has emerged as a major sports betting state since launching mobile wagering in early 2022. This will amplify interest for North Carolina college teams and fans as they closely follow 2024 playoff odds and national title bets on their favorite teams. An expanded playoff field gives teams like North Carolina, NC State, and Appalachian State hopes of crashing the party someday soon.