31 Bowls Invited to Bid for Right to Host Playoff Semifinals

By Kevin Kelley -
The Coaches' Trophy

The Coaches’ Trophy. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The four-team college football playoff is set to begin after the 2014 regular season, and the group that oversees the playoff has now invited 31 bowls to bid for the right to host semifinal games. They can also bid on other games to be played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

The deadline for the bowls to submit their proposals has been set for March 27, 2013, which is just under two weeks away.

In order for bowls to host a game in the new playoff structure, they will need a stadium with a capacity of at least 65,000. Bowls that are selected to participate in the new format will host a national semifinal game once every three years and a non-playoff bowl game in other years.

“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.”

Although 31 bowls are free to bid for the three spots after the 2014 season, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy thinks they are already spoken for:

The BCS also announced today that the Orange Bowl will host a semifinal game after the 2015 regular season. The host for the second semifinal that season has yet to be named.

In January, BCS Commissioners announced that the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first playoff semifinals on Thursday, January 1, 2015. The AT&T Cotton Bowl was said to be the “prohibitive favorite” to host the first national title game, but an official announcement has yet to be made. The national championship game will be played in a different city each season.

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  1. jskwrite
    March 15, 2013 at 11:12 am

    31 bowls – Perfect… 16 host first round, 8 host second round, 4 host third round, 2 host semis, one hosts championship. Start bowl season second week in December (season ends second week in jan like it does now – teams don’t have 8 weeks off to prepare for bowl game). 32 teams in playoffs. (in all fairness I think 8 is the right number or 12 (4 teams bye in first round).

    • Noles fan
      March 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I wish this was the case JSK. That and gettiing the Super Bowl played on a Saturday night would be the ticket!

  2. Keith
    March 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I’m rooting for the New Mexico Bowl, Independence Bowl and the Belk Bowl! Albuquerque, Charlotte and Shreveport! Geographically diverse, one game in each part of the country.

  3. harry c.
    March 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    have the National championship game in Wrigley field, holy cow! one semi-final could be in Idaho’s dome, the other at Eastern Washington, with their red turf!

  4. Herandos
    March 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The Play-Offs should be played in Moscow, USA, Idaho! The Communist Party of the US & SR wil be support this!

  5. Kyle Robertson
    March 15, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    So, according to this article, the Rose, Orange, and Sugar will all host a semifinal game in January, 2015. Hmmmm…doesn’t seem to add up.

    • Kevin Kelley
      March 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

      No, the Orange Bowl will host after the 2015 season. The Rose and Sugar host after the 2014 season. Confusing, I know.

    • Travis
      March 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      No, like Kevin said

      2014 season: Rose and Sugar
      2015 season: Orange and Undecided
      2016 season: Undecided and Undecided

      the rumor is the undecided will be the Cotton, Chick-Fil-A, and Fiesta Bowls

      then in 2017 the rotation starts over again…

  6. @dbrunstheworld
    March 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

    It seems very responsible to ask the bowls that can’t even break even to spend on a proposal to a group that may rival the IOC for objectivity. Well done.

  7. Stringer 43
    March 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    All just bells and whistles until the NCAA realizes that a 16 team playoff—–10 conference champs, 6 at-large spots is the only real way to go forward. First round should be home games for top 8 seeds. Next rounds all played in neutral or regional sites. 4 weeks all over with……A TRUE NCAA D-1 champ is crowned….

    • tater
      March 17, 2013 at 11:05 am

      good idea, Stringer………would love to see at large LSU have to play at auto-qualifier Ball St.

    • Herandos
      March 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      As i always have said:

      “If you want play-offs, move your College from the FBS-Level to the FCS-Level.”

  8. Steven
    March 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I think they will have 2015 Orange and Fiesta…2016 Cotton and Chick Fi A. And then 2017 and so on, will just reverse roles..because we know 2014 is Sugar and Rose..

  9. Jskwrite
    March 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Id rather see the Mac champ play a 2nd place SEC team than 2/3s of the bowls where the teams are rusty and disinterested. LSU is a bad example because they were outplayed for a half by an FCS school last year (Towson). You can’t tell me that effort of an Lsu team would have blown out a not rusty Northern Illinois team. Let’s say Florida then… The real “second best SEC team” (obviously A-M was second best but they lost too much early) Florida lost to a team that lost at home to UConn and their backup QB. (Louisville played a lot of that game with a backup QB too but- come on, UConn at home? )

    I saw have Sun Belt MAC NewOldBigEast etc league champs play first week and give byes to B1G Big12 Sec and ACC and have 4 at large play those other champs (plus 1 or 2 more at large – depending on number of leagues) play neutral site week 2) then week3 4 champs vs 4 remaining and so on. Plus give Notre Dame ACC spot if higher ranked than ACC champ (only fair since they will be in ACC for all other sports)

  10. GamerTeeTom
    March 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I still think the playoffs should look similar to the NFL playoffs, except half it to 6 teams. Top 2 gets a bye (like when they used to just go to the title game) and have the other 4 play the 1st Round during Week 15. Then, you have your usually 4-team playoffs after that.

    Now, you can have 30+ bowls bid for 4 playoff games; more and better for everyone involve.

    PS: With 6 teams, Top 3 are AQ, and next 3 are part of the Top 10 ranked. No more than 2 teams per conference.

  11. Robert Anthony
    March 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I’m surprised that Indianapolis hasn’t be brought up as a potential semi-final spot. Considering it’s the home of the NCAA and has a Super Bowl-quality stadium with Lucas Oil Stadium, I imagine if a bowl doesn’t start there anytime soon, then it’ll be the host of the championship following Jerry World’s likely spot in 2015.