A Primer on College Football Playoffs

July 25, 2014
The college football community welcomes the championship trophy. Photo Credit: Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

The college football community welcomes the new championship trophy. Photo Credit: Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

Division I college football is entering a new era as a four-team playoff system will determine the national champion from now until the 2025 season. Unlike the BCS days, which relied on computer rankings and polls to select participants, a committee of 13 experts will select the four-teams through a multitude of factors to include strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, and championships won.*

This new postseason will still preserve college football’s rich bowl tradition as the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Peach Bowl will rotate as hosts for the playoffs. The first semifinals will be January 1, 2015, played at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX) will host the first championship game on January 12, 2015.

University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, AZ) will host the championship game in 2016 and Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL) will host in 2017. Cities around the country are vying to host for 2018 and beyond.

One thing that has not changed from the BCS system, every game counts. All 128 teams will qualify automatically and every team has a shot at the playoffs.

The official Twitter handle for the College Football Playoff and national championship trophy is @CFBPlayoff.  Follow the announcement by using search term #CFBPlayoff.


* The selection committee is comprised of 13 members who will serve three-year terms (however, with this inaugural group, some members will serve less and others more to achieve a rotation of members).

Jeff Long (chairman): Arkansas athletic director (term expires: 2018)

Barry Alvarez: Wisconsin athletic director (2017)

Mike Gould: Former Air Force Academy superintendent (2016)

Pat Haden: USC athletic director (2016)

Tom Jernstedt: Former NCAA executive vice president (2018)

Oliver Luck: West Virginia athletic director (2017)

Archie Manning: Former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback (2017)

Tom Osborne: Former Nebraska coach and athletic director (2016)

Dan Radakovich: Clemson athletic director (2018)

Condoleezza Rice: Stanford provost (2017)

Mike Tranghese: Former Big East commissioner (2016)

Steve Wieberg: USA Today reporter (2018)

Tyrone Willingham: Former Stanford, ND, and Washington coach (2018)

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