Today’s report backs up last week’s Star-Telegram report, in which Cotton Bowl officials expressed confidence about landing the contest and one industry source estimated the Arlington venue could have as high as a 95 percent chance of hosting the historic game. In discussing the chances of bringing the game to Arlington at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association chairman Tommy Bain said: “Our goal is to host the first one. We’re totally optimistic about hosting national championships and we’re cautiously optimistic about hosting the first one.”
Monday’s report by ESPN.com should boost that confidence. The site identified the Rose and Sugar bowls as the venues for college football’s first semifinal games, on Jan. 1, 2015. It identified the Cotton Bowl as a “prohibitive favorite” to host the national title game on Jan. 12, 2015.
College football will begin is inaugural four-team playoff after the 2014 regular season as part of a 12-year contract with participating bowls. Six bowls will rotate as host venues for semifinal games, with the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls already selected. ESPN.com, citing sources, reported that the other three bowls in the mix to host semifinal games would be the Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls.
Cotton Bowl officials have expressed optimism about being a regular part of the playoff mix but stressed that contracts have yet to be signed to solidify that participation. A formal announcement is expected later this spring.
_ Jimmy Burch