Officials at the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, considered a leading candidate to host college football’s 2015 national championship game, have expressed plans to bid on being a regular participant in the semifinal matchups.
The Rose and Sugar bowls will host the first national semifinal contests under the playoff format in January, 2015, with the Orange Bowl and a yet-to-be-named bowl slated to host semifinals in 2016, the second year of the playoff system. Two other bowls will host semifinal contests in 2017, creating a six-bowl rotation for semifinal games that could bring a high-profile contest to Cowboys Stadium every third year if the Arlington venue is included in the mix of semifinal locations.
Bowl sites selected to participate in the playoff structure will host non-playoff bowls in years when their venue is not hosting a semifinal contest. National championship games will be bid out on an individual basis, with Cowboys Stadium in the mix to host the initial contest of the playoff era in January, 2015.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS and the future playoff system, said the idea of rotating semifinal contests between stadiums with capacities of at least 65,000 will give “as many fans as possible the opportunity to enjoy the new playoff and the other bowls in person … 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.”
_ Jimmy Burch