12-team College Football Playoff schedule released: Complete details on playing format, date, time and more

NCAA Football: CFP National Champions-Michigan Celebration
NCAA Football: CFP National Champions-Michigan Celebration

The 12-team College Football Playoff schedule was released on Wednesday. Let's look at everything we know about the new expanded format.

What is the schedule for the 12-team College Football Playoff?

The College Football Playoff has undergone a complete makeover by expanding from four teams to 12. The second and third quarterfinals games will air on TNT Sports while the remaining 10 games will air on ESPN airwaves.

First Round

  • Friday, December 20 at 8 p.m. ET
  • Saturday, December 21 at noon ET
  • Saturday, December 21 at 4 p.m. ET
  • Saturday, December 21 at 8 p.m. ET

Quarterfinals

  • Tuesday, December 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Fiesta Bowl)
  • Wednesday, January 1 at 1 p.m. ET (Peach Bowl)
  • Wednesday, January 1 at 5 p.m. ET (Rose Bowl)
  • Wednesday, January 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET (Sugar Bowl)

Semifinals

  • Thursday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Orange Bowl)
  • Friday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Cotton Bowl)

Finals

  • Monday, January 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET

How do teams qualify for the 12-team College Football Playoff?

The College Football Playoff has had a substantial change from previous years. There are more clear-cut ways to determine which teams are selected. The top five highest-ranking conference champions will be automatically qualified for the 12-team CFP, and the seven remaining teams will consist of the eight highest-ranking nonchampions.

In theory, this would give the four power conferences the top four seeds and limit the number of teams having issues with the CFP selection committee. The four conference champions are awarded a first-round bye and do not play until the quarterfinals.

How would the 12-team College Football Playoff look if this format was last year?

The 2023 college football season was the final season that the four-team CFP format was in play. The Michigan Wolverines, Washington Huskies, Texas Longhorns and Alabama Crimson Tide were the four highest-ranking teams.

The remaining eight teams that would have made the College Football Playoff were the Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oregon Ducks, Missouri Tigers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Ole Miss Rebels and Liberty Flames, in that order. Below are what the first round and quarterfinals would have looked like.

  • Liberty vs. Florida State
  • Missouri vs Oregon
  • Ole Miss vs. Georgia
  • Penn State vs. Ohio State

The quarterfinals would be the winners of those games against the conference champion.

  • Liberty/Florida State vs. Alabama
  • Missouri/Oregon vs. Michigan
  • Ole Miss/Georgia vs. Texas
  • Penn State/Ohio State vs. Washington

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