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College Football Conferences, Notre Dame Agree to Playoff Deal Eyeing 14-Team Format, per Report

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The College Football Playoff is set to expand to 12 teams in 2024, but it appears that next season’s expansion may not be the end of its growth.

The 10 conferences that comprise the FBS level and Notre Dame have agreed to a contract that is expected to expand the CFP to 14 teams in 2026, according to a Friday afternoon report from Heather Dinich and Pete Thamel of ESPN.

“The memorandum of understanding guarantees that the field will have at least 12 teams in 2026 and beyond, but sources indicate there is a strong preference for a 14-team field that includes the five highest-ranked conference champions and the next nine highest-ranked teams,” Dinich and Thamel said.

The College Football Playoff could be set to expand even further to 14 teams, even before the first 12-team event takes place this coming season.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Per the report, the new contract will strongly stratify revenue distribution along conference lines—Big Ten and SEC schools are poised to earn $21 million annually, ACC schools $13 million, Big 12 schools $12 million, Notre Dame $12 million, and Group of Five schools just $1.8 million.

Since 2014, the College Football Playoff has had four teams and no guarantees of any kind for conference champions. In ’24, the five highest-ranked conference champions will make the CFP automatically, along with seven at-large teams.



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