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BCS leaders hone new college football playoff format

Bowl Championship Series commissioners are addressing plans for four-team playoff. Current cycle ends after BCS title game at Rose Bowl in January.

April 23, 2013|Chris Dufresne

The last vestiges of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, conceived years ago on a cocktail napkin, will be phased out this week at a swank Pasadena hotel.

College football power brokers are meeting in Southern California to tie up loose BCS ends as they pin down the particulars for a new four-team playoff beginning in the 2014 season.

"We've done a lot of the heavy lifting," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said.

On this week's agenda for the BCS commissioners:

• Picking a name for the new system. The BCS, which was formed in 1998, will cease to exist after Pasadena concludes the current cycle by hosting the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 and the final BCS title game on Jan. 6.

Don't expect anything exotic. The new name is likely to be something as simple as College Football Series, though fans in one Southeastern Conference state have lobbied for AAI (Annual Alabama Invitational).

• Completing the six-bowl playoff structure in the new 12-year cycle. The Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls have already been issued semifinal spots. The Rose and Sugar bowls will host the first semifinal games on Jan. 1, 2015, with the Orange getting a semifinal in 2016. Each bowl will get four semifinals over the length of the contract.

The front-runners for the other three host bowls are presumed to be the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A.

• Naming the site for the first championship game on Jan. 12, 2015. The title game will be up for annual bidding, much like the Final Four and the Super Bowl. It will be a shock if the first college football championship game is not awarded to Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

• Formalizing the selection committee that will choose the four playoff teams. The commissioners are likely to settle on the committee's size this week but probably will not name who will be on the panel. It will be similar in concept to the 10-person committee used for the NCAA basketball tournament. However, the football committee is likely to be larger and could include a representative from the media.

In addition to choosing the playoff teams, the committee will also help pair top-ranked schools in the other major bowls.

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