College football fans may be getting an early holiday gift this year. Back on September 2nd, the College Football Playoff Board of Managers, led by Mark Keenum, the President of Mississippi State, voted to expand the current four-team playoff format to a twelve-team playoff format beginning in 2026. Well, ESPN has reported that the new format may now begin a bit earlier.

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Many FBS college football programs and their fans have been clamoring for such an expansion, even prior to the four-team format began in 2014. The vote in September was a welcome change for all involved, even if they had to wait four years for the expansion to take place. "This is a historic and exciting day for college football," Keenum, announced in the initial press release. "More teams, more participation and more excitement are good for our fans, alumni, and student-athletes. I'm grateful to my colleagues on the board for their thoughtful approach to this issue and for their resolve to get expansion across the goal line and for the extensive work of the Management Committee that made this decision possible."

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But some exciting news was reported by Pete Thamel on Wednesday night when a source told ESPN on Wednesday night that the Rose Bowl has agreed to terms that will pave the way for the College Football Playoff to expand in the final two seasons of the current contract, 2024 and 2025. Apparently the Rose Bowl committee was the final hurdle to make this happen.

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Thamel reported that there was $450 million at stake in the final two years of the television current contract, that involved the six "contract bowls." The report said that Rose Bowl was only hold-out left that was preventing the 12-team formate from beginning in 2024. Thamel reported that a source told ESPN's Heather Dinich, "that the Rose Bowl was essentially given an ultimatum this week to agree to terms or risk being shut out of the next television contract, which begins in 2026." Those kinds of negotiating tactics usually work. College football fans should receive confirmation of the news soon.

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