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College Football Playoff Will Replace Bowl Championship Series

BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock
Bill Hancock, executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, introduces the new name - College Football Playoffs - and competition framework of what will replace the BCS in 2014 at a meeting of the football conference commissioners in Pasadena, California, on April 23, 2013. Photographer: Reed Saxon/AP Photo

College Football Playoff has been selected as the name of the sport’s new four-school postseason system that begins during the 2014-15 campaign.

It replaces the Bowl Championship Series, which has determined college football’s national champion since 1998.

The new playoff system was given preliminary approval in June 2012 and ratified in November by university presidents and conference commissioners. Officials are meeting this week in Pasadena, California, to finalize details of the system, which included selecting a new name.

“We decided to call the playoff what it is, the College Football Playoff,” executive director Bill Hancock said yesterday in a news release. “We think the new playoff will be the most dynamic improvement to college football in a generation. Certainly it’s what the fans want.”

Still to be determined is the site of the new system’s first national championship game, scheduled for Jan. 12, 2015, and the makeup of the selection committee that will choose the four participating playoff schools. The championship game site is scheduled to be revealed today.

The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first national semifinals on Jan. 1, 2015. The No. 1 team will play the fourth-ranked team, while No. 2 meets No. 3.

Under the new playoff plan, the national semifinals will rotate among six bowl games, meaning there will be two playoff games along with four other major bowls each season. The location for the national title game will be up for bid each year, similar to the process for the National Football League’s Super Bowl.

Obama’s Demand

A playoff format has been in demand for years by many fans, some lawmakers and even President Barack Obama. Since 1998, college football’s champion has been crowned by the BCS, which uses a formula that incorporates rankings and computer polls to decide the two schools that play for the title.

ESPN has reported that Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, probably will host the first championship game under the new playoff system. The stadium has been the site of the Cotton Bowl since 2010. Tampa, Florida, was the only other city to bid for the championship game, ESPN reported without saying where it got the information.

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN in November reached a 12-year agreement to carry all of the postseason games tied to the new college football playoff system. The Sports Business Journal has reported the deal, which runs through 2026, is worth more than $7 billion.

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