The group overseeing the new college football playoff announced today it has invited 31 bowl committees to consider whether they are interested in submitting a proposal to host the national semifinals and other bowl games to be played New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl have already been chosen to host the first national semifinals of the playoff on January 1, 2015. The Orange Bowl and a yet-to-be named bowl will host the semifinals in the second year of the playoff. The two bowls that will host semifinals in the third year have yet to be named. Bids are being sought for the three to-be-named bowls.
"This is about giving as many fans as possible the opportunity to enjoy the new playoff and the other bowls in person," said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS and the future playoff. "A rotating event means more fans in more places will be able to experience the excitement of the new playoff. Because of the criteria, we don't expect every bowl to proceed with a bid, but we want to extend an offer to all that are part of the college football bowl tradition."
The bidding process is consistent with other major events like the NCAA Men's Final Four. A main requirement is a stadium with capacity for at least 65,000 fans. Bowl sites selected to participate in the new playoff structure would each host a national semifinal game once every three years and a non-playoff bowl matchup in other years.
The deadline for bowls to submit initial bids will be March 27th.
The national championship game site selection will follow a separate process, and that game will also be held in a different city each year.
While major decisions about the new playoff format have been settled, the group continues to work on remaining issues which will be resolved over the next several months, including these:
Creation of a selection committee that will rank the teams to play in the playoff, giving all the teams an equal opportunity to participate; (Among the factors the committee will value are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and conference championships.);
Identifying the host city for the first national championship game;
Identifying the bowls which will participate in the new playoff system; and,
Naming of the new event.