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Rose Bowl Game to Become College Football Playoff Quarterfinal on January 1, 2025

Published on Monday, May 8, 2023 | 8:47 pm
At left, the Rose Bowl Stadium. At right, the College Football Playoff 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel National Championship Trophy.

The format for Pasadena’s iconic Rose Bowl Game will evolve from a College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal game on January 1, 2024, into one of CFP’s quarterfinal games on January 1, 2025 and January 1, 2026, the CFP said last week.

The new assignment for the Rose Bowl Game will come as the CFP expands from a four-team to a 12-team playoff format for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 system.

The CFP unveiled the game dates and bowl assignments for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 college football seasons on May 2.

Under the new format, the six highest-ranked conference champions, as well as the six highest-ranked other teams, will compete in the playoffs.

The semifinal games will rotate annually among six bowl games: the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Rose Bowl Game.

The decision to expand the playoffs from a four-team format to a 12-team format was initially announced in September 2022, with plans to implement the change in the 2026 season. However, following further discussions, the CFP decided to introduce the new format earlier, starting in the 2024-2025 season.

Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff, expressed enthusiasm for the new schedule.

“This is the next significant step in bringing clarity to the launch of the 12-team playoff format in 2024. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but this is an important milestone along the way,” Hancock said.

The Rose Bowl Game is the oldest currently operating bowl game, having been played since 1902. Nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All,” it has been of the most prestigious bowl games in college football.

The Rose Bowl Game was traditionally played between the champions of the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference. However, the game has deviated at times from this format as part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and the current College Football Playoff.

For more information on the CFP and the upcoming schedule, visit

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