When college football’s postseason shifts to a four-team playoff model in the 2014 season, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the first semifinal games on January 1, 2015.
Conference commissioners met Tuesday, as they generally do the day after the BCS Championship Game each season, to begin putting together some of the plans for the four-team playoff model that will in a sense do away with the BCS era. Semifinal games were previously reported to be rotated between current BCS games such as the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls while the site of the new championship game will be bid on in similar fashion to the Super Bowl, with cities placing the bids as opposed to existing bowl games.
News of the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl hosting the first semifinal games should come as little surprise, with each bowl game having the backing of the top two power conferences in the game, the Big Ten and SEC. Under the new format the Rose and Sugar Bowls will remain a fixture on January 1 (or January 2 if January 1 lands on a Sunday, to avoid conflict with NFL schedules). In years the Rose or Sugar are not hosting semifinal games, the semifinal games will be played on December 31 or December 30 (again to avoid conflicts with NFL Sundays).
"It was not a one-year decision, it had to be a 12-year decision," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. "Calendar issues, days of rest. Sugar and Rose were paired together because of the days of rest since they are playing the same day."
The Orange Bowl will host a semifinal game on December 31, 2015 the next season. The site of the other semifinal game is still to be determined. The Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A Bowls are among the most likely candidates for the extra semifinal game in 2015. A decision on the second semifinal site in the 2015 season is expected by the end of April, as well as the site of the first championship game for the 2014 season.
The next part of the plan to be determined will be which site gets to host the first championship game. According to multiple reports, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas appears to be a favorite to host the first title game in 2015. Hancock believes most of the work still to be done revolves around establishing a selection committee and outlining how the four-playoff teams will be selected.
"The balls that are still in the air are the (selection) committee, protocol and structure, what we're going to call it," Hancock said Tuesday.
The Rose Bowl will host the final BCS Championship Game under the current format next season.