A board of university presidents voted unanimously on Friday to expand the College Football Playoff to 12 teams, possibly as early as the 2024 season.
An announcement on the College Football Playoff website stated the new format will begin in the 2026 campaign.
It was added, though, that the College Football Management Committee have been tasked with "assessing the possibility of beginning the expanded playoff in either the 2024 or 2025 regular season."
The Board of Managers – comprised of university presidents representing the 10 FBS conferences, plus Notre Dame – is hoping to implement expansion as soon as possible.
When Friday's meeting was announced, CBS Sports reported that universities had grown impatient with the commissioners' hesitancy to adopt a seemingly inevitable expansion and worried about missing revenue by keeping the playoff at four teams.
Media rights for a 12-team playoff could be worth double their current value, up to $1.2billion annually, CBS Sports also reported.
Friday's vote was the culmination of a process dating back to last June when the board of managers first heard a proposal for a 12-team playoff.
The confirmation on Friday laid out the new format, which will include "six conference champions ranked highest by the selection committee (no minimum ranking requirement), plus the six highest-ranked teams not included among the six highest-ranked conference champions."
It was also revealed the "four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and each will receive a first-round bye.
"The other eight teams will play in the first round with the higher seeds hosting the lower seeds either on campus or at other sites designated by the higher-seeded institution."
President of Mississippi State and the chairman of the CFP Board of Managers, Mark Keenum, said: "This is an historic and exciting day for college football.
"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."
Among the crucial next steps include deciding who broadcasts the extra games.
While ESPN has television rights for the semi-final and championship games through 2026, first and second round games could be broadcast by multiple networks.