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FAQs

For frequently asked questions about the selection committee, see the Selection Committee FAQs.

What is the College Football Playoff?

The College Football Playoff is the postseason format that determines the national champion for FBS college football.

Why the College Football Playoff?

The playoff was created to preserve the excitement and significance of college football’s unique regular season where every game counts. The postseason structure creates an exciting four-team playoff that upholds the best regular season in sports and protects America’s rich bowl tradition.

What is the format of the College Football Playoff?

The format of the College Football Playoff is simple: the four best teams, two semifinals played in bowl games and a national championship game played in a different city every year.

When will the games be played?

College Football Playoff Semifinal games are played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, depending on the year. The College Football Playoff National Championship is played on a Monday night every year.

Where will the College Football Playoff National Championship be played?

The College Football Playoff National Championship is played in a different city every year. In 2017, the national championship will be played in Tampa, Florida. To view future sites and schedules, click here.

Who runs the College Football Playoff?

The College Football Playoff is run by the FBS conferences. All 10 conferences, as well as the FBS Independents, are members of the entity – CFP Administration, LLC. These conferences manage the semifinal games, as well as the College Football Playoff National Championship. A board of managers, management committee, counsel and College Football Playoff staff also assist in the execution of the playoff.

How are the teams that go to the playoff determined?

The four teams that go to the College Football Playoff are determined by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The selection committee chooses the four teams for the playoff based on strength of schedule, head-to-head results against common opponents, championships won and other factors.

Who makes up the College Football Playoff Selection Committee?

The selection committee is made up of select individuals who were unanimously chosen by the College Football Playoff Management Committee, the commissioners of the conferences overseeing the playoff. Members of the selection committee include former coaches, student-athletes, administrators, journalists and current athletics directors. For more information on the selection committee, as well as individual bios, please click here.

Why is the playoff not more than four teams? Will the playoff expand to more than four teams?

The four-team playoff preserves the importance and the excitement and compelling nature of the regular season, which is the best in sports. It also maintains the tradition of the bowls, which are unique in the American sports culture. The agreements for the four-team playoff extend for 12 years.

Can a team automatically qualify for the playoff?

No team automatically qualifies. Every FBS team has equal access to the playoff based on its performance.

Which bowls host the semifinal games?

College Football Playoff Semifinal games rotate between the Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

How is the site of the College Football Playoff National Championship determined?

The site of the College Football Playoff National Championship is determined through a bid system, much like the Super Bowl or the NCAA Final Four location. Any city that demonstrates necessary facilities, transportation and other factors can submit a bid to host the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Which communities will host national championship games in the future?

To view future sites and schedules, click here.

What is the arrangement between the College Football Playoff and ESPN?

In 2012, it was announced that ESPN acquired the rights to broadcast all College Football Playoff games, as well as selected other games, through 2025.

How will revenue from the playoff be distributed to conferences and independent institutions?

All FBS conferences and independent institutions receive significant increases in revenue from the College Football Playoff under the revenue-distribution plan adopted unanimously by the board of managers. For full details on revenue distribution, click here.

How long will the College Football Playoff be in place?

The College Football Playoff is contracted for 12 years, at least through 2025-26.