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What 2024 CFB landscape looks like

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With the 2023 college football season in the books, we can officially turn our attention toward the 2024 campaign, which will have a different look to it.

There are several groundbreaking changes across the college football landscape in 2024, including huge shakeups in conference realignment and the expansion of the College Football Playoff from four teams to a new-look 12-team format.

Here is a look at what the season will look like at first glance and what to expect in 2024.

Conference Alignment:

There will be a total of 134 schools in the FBS in 2024, with Kennesaw State officially joining the FBS from the FCS ranks next season.

As far as membership, there will be a seismic change in the college football landscape in 2024, with programs moving to new conferences. Here’s a look at what changes will be made.

Power Conferences:

ACC:

Big 12:

Big Ten:

Pac-12:

  • (2) Members in 2024: Oregon State and Washington State
  • Who was added: No schools were added to the Pac-12.
  • Who was subtracted: Arizona (Big 12), Arizona State (Big 12), California (ACC), Colorado (Big 12), Oregon (Big Ten), Stanford (ACC), UCLA (Big Ten), USC (Big Ten), Utah (Big 12) and Washington (Big Ten).
  • Scheduling: The Pac-12 now has just two members. Oregon State and Washington State will each play five games against Power 5 teams, six games (three home and three away) against teams from the Mountain West Conference and one game against an FCS school. The Pac-12 will no longer have an automatic qualifier status for the winner of the conference, but Oregon State and Washington State will still be able to qualify for the CFP as at-large teams.

SEC:

Group of 5 Conferences: 

AAC:

C-USA:

MAC:

Mountain West:

Sun Belt:

Independents:

  • (3) Teams in 2024: Notre Dame, UConn, UMass
  • Who was added: No other schools are independent in 2024.
  • Who was subtracted: Army (AAC) is losing its independent status in 2024.
  • Scheduling changes: Each team plays a different schedule. Notre Dame has an agreement with the ACC to play five games per year against teams in the conference.

CFP changes for the 2024 season:

Starting with the 2024 season, the CFP will expand its playoff to 12 teams with the six highest-ranked conference champions each earning a spot, while there will also be six at-large bids handed to the six highest-ranked teams remaining. 

In this format, the four highest-ranked conference champions will receive a first-round bye to the quarterfinals. The higher-seeded teams in the first round will either have home-field advantage or play at another site designated by the higher-seeded institution.

The seed matchups would be No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, and No. 9 at No. 8 for the first round.

[2024-25 College Football title odds: Georgia, Alabama open as favorites]

This is how the 12-team field would have looked had it been instituted this season after the final CFP rankings were released.

How does this change scheduling?

With the expanded playoffs, there is a chance some teams could end up playing 17 games in the 2024 season, which would be the most a team has played in a single season.

This will also impact timing. Next season, the CFP games will begin on Friday, Dec. 20th and will continue well into January with the CFP Championship Game scheduled for Jan. 20th, 2025. The schedule is broken down like this:

  • First Round (games played on-campus or at place of choice for the higher seed)
    Friday, Dec. 20 (one game)
    Saturday, Dec. 21 (three games)
  • Friday, Dec. 20 (one game)
  • Saturday, Dec. 21 (three games)
  • Quarterfinals
    Tuesday, Dec. 31 (Fiesta Bowl)
    Wednesday, Jan. 1 (Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31 (Fiesta Bowl)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1 (Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl)
  • Semifinals
    Thursday, Jan. 9 (Orange Bowl)
    Friday, Jan. 10 (Cotton Bowl)
  • Thursday, Jan. 9 (Orange Bowl)
  • Friday, Jan. 10 (Cotton Bowl)
  • Championship GameMonday, Jan. 20 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
  • Monday, Jan. 20 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)

The bowl games will begin in the quarterfinals and will be rotating each year.

Changes to 2024 scheduling

For the first time next year, college football will have a 14-week regular season rather than a 13-week regular season. That is due in part to an early Labor Day creating an additional Saturday between September’s first weekend and Thanksgiving weekend. Because of that, each team will now have two byes built into their schedule instead of the usual one.



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