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With a new playoff system set to be implemented for the end of the 2014 NCAA football season, there have been questions about how many bowl games the new system will feature. According to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, it's possible the new system could feature eight bowl games as well as the national championship game.
Delany told the Wall Street Journal about the possible revision to the six bowl proposal that was originally approved in June meetings. In the original proposal there was to be six bowls, not including a national title game, with the two semifinals games rotating between the six bowl locations.
Per the Wall Street Journal, concerns about the access of smaller conferences to the system prompted the BCS leaders to reconsider their proposal. They will reportedly meet this week to discuss the new possible bowl additions as well as revenue sharing.
The Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and Champions Bowl have all been voted to be included while the remaining bowls in the new postseason system have yet to be determined.
What's the "Champions Bowl?" We're soon to find out more, including where it will be played and possibly some conference realignment ramifications.
The Rose Bowl and the Champions Bowl have not committed to join the playoff rotation for semifinal sites for the newly-formed college football playoffs beginning in 2014, according to reports.
If six bowls are used in rotation as sites for the semifinals over the course of the 12-year contract of the playoffs, each bowl should expect to host four times total. The language in Tuesday's ACC/Orange Bowl release suggested that the number of semifinals played at each site may not be distributed evenly, however saying that "it's anticipated that the Orange Bowl will host at least four semifinal games."
The Rose Bowl, pitting the Big Ten and Pac 12 conference champions, and the Champions Bowl, pitting the winners of the Big 12 and SEC, have incentive to keep their games separate. The two bowls may be able to draw more attention and money by maintaining their conference tie-ins. The Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Chick-fil-A (or whoever) bowls would stand to gain as well, with more opportunities to take center stage.
The playoff selection committee is also taking charge of four other marquee bowl matchups, making for a six-game New Year's blowout. Which means we're just a flip of a switch away from a 12-team playoff, instead of a four-team playoff.
We don't yet know all six bowls that will be included in the eventual six-bowl event that'll give us the college football semifinal round, but we know the Rose, Orange, and some sort of SEC/Big 12 pairing will be included. The Chick-fil-A, Capital One, Fiesta, Sugar, and Cotton will certainly all be considered for those last three spots.
Now here's a potentially cool new detail: the selection committee that's picking the four playoff teams will also line up teams for those four bowls that don't get semifinals.
According to Bill Hancock, the "Big Six" bowls will be played three each on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, around 1 pm/4:30 pm/8.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 28, 2012
The selection committee will pick the teams for all six bowls. Theoretically, it could be the Top 12 spread over 6 games. Huge improvement.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 28, 2012
The Rose and the Champions will take the top teams from their associated conferences, and the Orange will take the ACC champ. Other than that, it could be wide open, since bowls are going to have to do whatever the new regime wants in order to be included in the six-bowl thing -- and every bowl really, really wants to be included in the six-bowl thing.
Don't expect this to throw the doors open for deserving mid-majors, but it could go a small way to making sure elite teams from non-power conferences at least get top bowl bids.
If the Atlanta Sports Council has their way, college football teams won't just be playing for a national title in 2014, but for all of the chicken sandwiches. They're joining forces with the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Georgia Dome and the Atlanta Falcons to lure college football semifinals and finals to the city once the new playoff system kicks in.
The semifinals of the new playoffs are going to rotate through six bowls, and everyone has a chance to join the fun. The bowls that rotate as semifinal sites aren't necessarily going to be the current established BCS bowls, so currently smaller bowls that are played in big cities or top-notch facilities will have a chance to become big-time events.
Much like the Super Bowl, the final will move around based on what city and facility offers up the best package from year to year. The Falcons are currently working on plans for a state-of-the-art stadium with a retractable roof that they would like to complete by 2017, and that stadium would obviously be part of a championship game bid if it was completed. Atlanta Sports Council executive director Dan Corso thinks the Georgia Dome is attractive as a championship game site, however, and won't be discouraged from bidding for the game before the new stadium is completed.
"We have the Georgia Dome currently standing, which is a premiere facility," Corso said. "... As we work later in the rotation, I think a new stadium would fit into that."
Stokan said a new state-of-the-art stadium "would further differentiate" an Atlanta bid from competitors. But he said the Georgia Dome would be an attractive site as well, noting that it will host college basketball's Final Four next year and has a stellar record of hosting marquee college-football events such as the SEC Championship game.
Atlanta will almost certainly be joined in the bidding for a permanent rotating semifinal slot by the four established BCS Bowls, as well as the Cotton Bowl and the Capital One Bowl.
There's a new system, but college football will have pretty much the same old schedule.
The bowl season should look familiar when the four-team playoff begins in 2014, with semifinals taking place on or around New Year's Day. The final will also be right around the time the BCS Championship has been played, coming just a little over a week after the two teams are set.
From Stewart Mandel:
The date of the first semifinal games will be either Wednesday, December 31, 2014, or Thursday, January 1, 2015.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 26, 2012
The first 5 championship games will be played (all on Mondays): Jan. 12, 2015; Jan. 11, 2016; Jan. 9, 2017; Jan. 8, 2018; and Jan. 7, 2019.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 26, 2012
The problem, of course, lies in the quick turnaround from the semifinal to the final. Fans will have to be quick on the draw -- or assume their favorite team is championship-bound -- when figuring out travel arrangements. It's another step, but one that many fans will likely find worth it in the grand scheme of things.
For schools, there will be a bit of travel involved. The semifinals will take place at a rotating cast of bowls, chosen from six sites. Those bowls are not set, though we do know two of them at the moment:
Source confirms that the Rose Bowl and new Champions Bowl (SEC/Big 12) will be part of six-bowl semifinal rotation. Four TBA.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 26, 2012
If you're worried about the new system's impact on academics, most schools should be toward the end of winter break during the playoff period.
Next week could see the all-but-final adoption of a college football playoff plan, with BCS commissioners presenting to college presidents their four-team playoff recommendation on June 26. SI.com's Andy Staples reports on what that plan will look like, with six bowls splitting up hosting rights.
The Rose and Champions are obvious, with the Orange's ACC tie also included. As for the others, Staples has the Chick-fil-A , Cotton, Fiesta and Sugar as in the running. Though the Sugar could end up also being the Champions, depending on how the SEC and Big 12 figure they can make the most money.
Also from Staples, more details on how the bracket works in general:
- A 12-year agreement for a four-team, seeded tournament beginning in the 2014 season. No. 1 will play No. 4, No. 2 will play No. 3, and the winners of those games will meet for the title.
- The tournament will include the top four teams regardless of conference champion status.
- The seminfinals will be played in bowls, and six bowls will share hosting duties during a 12-year period.
- The championship game will be put out for bids.
Once Nebraska's Harvey Perlman and a couple others perhaps from the Big Ten grandstand for a little while about how quickly we're hurtling into the future, the whole thing should be approved, and then it'll be off to figure out TV rights and how to split up the money. Sounds easy.
The Rose Bowl is the most important thing in the world, apparently. The Big Ten has sacrificed its own potential playoff advantage just to make the Rose Bowl remain as important as possible, with the Pac-12 going along. Now the SEC and the Big 12 are cooking up something that would be just as big as the Rose, if not blessed with quite the history:
I'm told the meeting between the SEC and Big 12 champions would probably take place at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.— kbohls (@kbohls) May 18, 2012
That could be a deal that would add the Big 12 champ into what could amount to a version of a travelin' Sugar Bowl, though the Sugar itself is expected to be part of the playoff format. Or just a Cotton Bowl with a little more on the line. This could be a move to get the Cotton into the "six-bowl event" Stewart Mandel reported.
(Of course, the important thing to note is that both the SEC and Big 12 champs missing the playoffs would almost never happen. The Big Ten is having a hard enough time keeping the SEC runner-up out of the tournament.)
Tony Barnhart reports the SEC will make the announcement in about an hour.