College Football Playoff approves revised qualifying criteria

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The College Football Playoff (CFP) Board of Managers revised the qualifying criteria for the new 12-team playoff on Tuesday.

The board unanimously voted to include the five highest-ranking conference champions, plus the next seven highest-ranking teams as determined by the CFP Selection Committee.

The move likely locks up a spot for the Big 10, SEC, ACC and Big 12 champions each season.

The ‘5-7 format’ is different from the previous format which was set to include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six-highest ranked teams.

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“This is a very logical adjustment for the College Football Playoff based on the evolution of our conference structures since the board first adopted this new format in September 2022,” Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and Chair of the CFP Board of Managers said in a statement from the CFP. “I know this change will also be well received by student-athletes, coaches and fans. We all will be pleased to see this new format come to life on the field this postseason.”

One important note from the new format is: The four highest-ranking conference champions will earn seeds 1-4 in the playoff and therefore get a bye in the first round. So, if K-State or KU were to win the Big 12, it would get a top-four seed and a first-round bye, unless four other conference champion teams ranked higher.

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There is also an opportunity for home games in the CFP. In the first round, No. 5 will host No. 12, No. 6 will host No. 11, No. 7 will host No. 10 and No. 8 will host No. 9.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the New Year’s Six bowl games, the national championship game will continue to be at a neutral site.

There is no limit on the number of teams that can qualify from one conference, the CFP said.

Click here for the full release from the College Football Playoff.

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