KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – The first semifinal games in the new college football playoff system will be played in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.
The BCS conference commissioners announced the dates and rotation for all 12 years of the upcoming postseason format after a meeting in Key Biscayne on Monday.
It was not a one-year decision, it had to be a 12-year decision, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. Calendar issues, days of rest. Sugar and Rose were paired together because of the days of rest since they are playing the same day.
Whether they are hosting a semifinal or just a marquee bowl game, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will always be played on Jan. 1, or Jan. 2 in years in which New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. In the eight years in which the Rose and Sugar do not host the semifinals, the four playoff teams will kick off on New Year’s Eve or Saturday, Dec. 30.
Those days will belong to college football, Hancock said.
The Rose Bowl will also be the site of the last BCS championship game on Jan. 1, 2014.
The site of the first championship game in the new system is still to be picked, though Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, seems to be the front-runner. The title games will always be played on Mondays, at least seven days after the semifinals. The first one will be played Jan. 12, 2015.
The preference is to have three more sites in three times zones, and they are expected to be Atlanta (Chick-fil-A Bowl), Arlington, Texas (Cotton Bowl) and Glendale, Ariz. (Fiesta).
BCS ratings hurt
The BCS title game’s television rating was up from last season, but the lopsided score kept viewership down.
Alabama’s 42-14 rout over Notre Dame drew a 15.1 fast national rating Monday on ESPN, the network said Tuesday. The 26.4 million viewers were up 9 percent from last year’s game, another blowout Crimson Tide victory, 21-0 over LSU.
But that’s down from the 27.3 million for ESPN’s first BCS championship two years ago, Auburn’s win over Oregon that was decided in the final seconds. This year’s game posted the second-largest audience in cable history behind the 2011 championship.
Tide No. 1 in AP poll
Alabama is No. 1 at being No. 1.
The Crimson Tide (13-1) was voted national champion by The Associated Press for the ninth time, more than any other program in college football, after routing Notre Dame 42-14 on Monday night.
Notre Dame, No. 1 coming into the BCS championship, dropped to No. 4.
The Tide entered the title game with as many AP titles as the Irish, and emphatically broke the tie for first.
The Tide received all 59 of the first-place votes in the final media poll of the season.
Oregon (12-1) finished second, matching its best final ranking from 2001.
Ohio State (12-0), the only undefeated team in major college football but banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, was third. Georgia and Texas A&M tied for fifth to cap another banner season for the Southeastern Conference.
Stanford was seventh, South Carolina was No. 8, Florida was ninth and Florida State was 10th.