The college football season has once again come and gone, and in its place we have, yet again, a small amount of controversy with the finish. Not with the national champion — Alabama was far and away the better team in Miami — but with whom the Tide rolled.
After looking back at Notre Dame’s schedule, and how the Irish fared in losing 42-14 to Nick Saban and the Tide, many fans would rather have seen Oregon in the title game. However, the Ducks were relegated to the Fiesta Bowl after losing in overtime by a field goal to the Rose Bowl-winning Stanford Cardinal. Yes, Notre Dame beat Stanford, but in overtime and by a mere few inches on a fourth-and-goal attempt. But we digress.
The point is, if it had been 2014, the Ducks would have had their chance at the crystal ball. Oregon easily would have been in the first ever Final Four of Football, along with Bama, the Irish, and presumably Florida.
One of the biggest sticking points with regard to assimilating a playoff into the traditional bowl structure has been how to fairly rotate the national semifinals and finals from one year to the next. That question, for now, has been answered.
This according to Saturday Down South:
- The semifinal games rotate through 6 bowls. The Rose & Sugar Bowls are paired together meaning the Rose and Sugar will host semifinal games in the same years every three years.
- The Rose and Sugar Bowl have secured the premiere New Year’s Day slot regardless of whether or not they are hosting the semifinal games. The only exception is when Jan 1 is a Sunday (NFL day). The Rose is slotted for 5:00 PM ET and the Sugar at approximately 8 PM ET.
- The semifinal games will always be either Dec 31st or Jan 1 – Jan 1 when Rose/Sugar are hosting; Dec 31 when the other 4 bowls are hosting
- The Championship Game will be on Monday night anywhere from 7 to 11 days after the semifinal games. The first Championship Game is Jan 13, 2015, but in some years it could go as late as Jan 14th.
Basically, what this means is that instead of there being four BCS bowls and a title game location (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, BCS), there will be six total games and locations. Only three locations will get one of the playoff bids in any given year. The title game will go to the highest bidder, but still one of the six sites. The semifinals will rotate amongst the six every three years. The Rose and Sugar Bowls have positioned themselves to be the two premier bowl locations moving forward.
The rotation will look like this according to Saturday Down South:
- National Semifinals: Jan 1, 2015 at Rose & Sugar Bowls
- Championship Game: Mon, Jan 12th at TBA
- Orange Bowl & three other “access” bowls will be played Dec 31 and Jan 1
- National Semifinals: Dec 31, 2016 at TBA
- Championship Game: Monday, Jan 11th at TBA
- Rose & Sugar Bowls: Friday, Jan 1; Orange & three other “access bowls” will be TBA
- National Semifinals: Dec 31, 2017 at TBA
- Championship Game: Monday, Jan 9th at TBA
- Rose & Sugar Bowls: Monday, Jan 2; Orange & three other “access bowls” will be TBA
The three other “access bowls” will likely be the Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ), Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, GA) and Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX), however we are still awaiting the decision from the powers that be.
The national championship game location has yet to be selected either, however it is assumed that it will likely be one of the six locations chosen for the semifinals.