March 19, 2013
We already knew that the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl would play host to the semifinal games in the first year of the newly-minted playoff system following the 2014 season.
Now, we know one half of the pair of bowls that will host the next year's version of the new system used to determine a national champion in college football.
In a press release issued Friday morning, the BCS announced that the Orange Bowl will be one of the hosts of the semifinals in 2016 (the playoffs following the 2015 season). The group stated that the other host is a yet-to-be-named bowl.
In that vein, the BCS also announced that (chuckle) "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 deadline for the various bowl committees to submit their initial bids is March 27 of this year.
"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."
While 31 bowls have been invited to submit a proposal to host a national semifinal, the bowl venues must have a seating capacity of at least 65,000. That criteria eliminates 11 of those 31 bowl games right off the bat.
Furthermore, while the aura of inclusion is a nice touch on the part of the exclusionary BCS, it's a hollow one as it's widely believed that the Chick-fil-A, Cotton and Fiesta bowls will fill the other three slots in the six-bowl rotation for hosting national semifinals.
In addition to filling out the slots in the rotation, the BCS stated that the group is working on resolving a couple of outstanding issues ahead of implementing the first playoff system at the FBS level, including:
– 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;
– Naming of the new event.
The first issue is easily the most important one the new group overseeing the playoff faces. The selection committee is expected to consist of 15-20 individuals, with those individuals likely to be some mix of former coaches, ex-administrators and current/former media members. When the announcement of that committee — certain to be the biggest hot-button issue moving forward in the new system — will be made is not known, although it could happen at some point before the end of the 2013 season, if not sooner.
As for the naming of the new event, two things are certain: one, it will not be called the BCS and, two, there won't be corporate sponsorship attached to the four-team playoff, which marks one of the few times universities didn't grab the money first and ask questions later.