College Football 12-Team Playoff: Explaining The 5+7 Model

A picture of The College Football Playoff National Championship trophy.

The College Football Playoff (CFP) is expanding to 12 teams for the 2024-2025 season. The CFP Board of Managers unanimously revised the qualifying criteria to a “5+7 model.” What does this entail? Below is an explanation of the 5+7 model for the upcoming College Football Playoff.

College Football 12-Team Playoff: Explaining The 5+7 Model

On Tuesday, the CFP Board of Managers finalized the qualifying criteria for the 12-team playoff. The event will include the five highest-ranked conference champions and the next seven highest-ranked teams, as determined by the CFP Selection Committee.

In simpler terms, the 5+7 model for the CFP consists of five Conference Champions and seven at-large bids.

“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,” said Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and Chair of the CFP Board of Managers, in a statement. “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.”

The new 5+7 model replaces the original plan of the six highest-rated conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams. However, the 6+6 plan was announced before the mass exodus of teams from the Pac-12, which now consists of two teams: Washington State and Oregon State.

Washington State and Oregon State cannot qualify for the 12-team playoff with a conference championship for the next two seasons. However, the two teams can still make the playoff as one of the seven at-large teams.

No conference will qualify for the CFP automatically. Additionally, there is no limit on the number of participants from one conference.

College Football 12-Team Playoff: Dates And Bracket

The 12-team playoff consists of four rounds: first round, quarterfinals, semifinals, and the National Championship.

The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and automatically receive a first-round bye to the quarterfinals.

Seeds five through 12 will play a game on the home field of the higher-ranked team.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the New Year’s Six-bowl games, and the 2025 National Championship is the finals of the CFP.

First Round: December 20-21, 2024

  • No. 12 at No. 5
  • No. 11 at No. 6
  • No. 10 at No. 7
  • No. 9 at No. 8

Quarterfinals: December 31, 2024-January 1, 2025

  • Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 31)
  • Peach Bowl (Jan. 1)
  • Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)
  • Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1)

Matchups are to be determined based on the results of the First Round.

Semifinals: January 9-10, 2025

  • Orange Bowl (Jan. 9)
  • Cotton Bowl (Jan. 10)

National Championship: Janaury 20, 2025

  • College Football Playoff National Championship (Jan. 20, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
Arrow to top