The College Football Playoff and the Allstate Sugar Bowl


The College Football Playoff and the Allstate Sugar Bowl park

This year is the final year of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and this year's Allstate Sugar Bowl, the 80th edition of the annual college football classic, will be played on Jan. 2, 2014. The game will feature the champion of the Southeastern Conference, unless that team finishes in the top two in the BCS Standings, against an at-large team from the BCS pool.

Following this year's game, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will play a major role in the College Football Playoff. For the 2014 season, the Sugar Bowl (Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 7:30 p.m.) will be one of the first semifinal games in the new format. In addition to 2015, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will also host semifinal games in 2018, 2021 and 2024. In the other eight years of the 12-year agreement, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will feature the champions of the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences (unless those teams are selected for the playoff, in which case a replacement team from that league will be selected to the Sugar Bowl).

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College Football PlayoffBeginning with the 2014-15 season, college football will enter a new four-team playoff era. The format is simple: the best four teams, two semifinals played in bowl games and a championship game played in a different city each year. It's the best of all worlds and the biggest innovation in the sport in decades.

Every Game CountsThe new playoff preserves the excitement and significance of college football's unique regular season where every game counts.

The Best Four TeamsA selection committee will choose the four teams for the playoff based on body of work, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, championships won and other factors.

Best of All WorldsThe new postseason structure creates an exciting four-team playoff that preserves the best regular season in sports and protects America's rich bowl tradition. It goes just the right distance and respects the academic calendar while limiting the number of games played by student-athletes.

A New Year's SpectacleFans will enjoy back-to-back triple-headers. Two semifinals and four other premier bowl games will be played on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (the Allstate Sugar Bowl will always be played on Jan. 1 at 7:30 p.m., unless Jan 1 is a Sunday, in which case, the game will be played on Jan. 2). Those holidays will belong to college football. Semifinal games will rotate among six different bowls, extending the experience to more fans.

Championship MondayThe championship game will be on Monday night every year.

Site SelectionThe commissioners will select cities to host the Championship Game. A city can host a bowl game and the championship game in the same year. A city cannot, however, host a semifinal and championship game in the same year.

Universal AccessEvery FBS team will have equal access to the playoff based on the team's performance. No conference will qualify automatically.

More RevenueThe popularity of the new format will increase revenue for all conferences and independent institutions.

Conferences Manage the EventThe FBS conferences will manage the College Football Playoff. All 10 conferences are members of the new entity-CFP Administration, LLC. University presidents and chancellors from all 10 conferences and Notre Dame form the Board of Managers and will govern the administrative operations, with commissioners and athletics directors (the Management Committee) managing the event. A small staff in the playoff's office in Irving, Texas, will carry out the detailed responsibilities.

Selection CommitteeThe College Football Playoff announced its Selection Committee in October. In aggregate, the selection committee members have roughly 230 years of experience in college football.  The group includes 10 people who played college football, two former top-level university administrators, five current athletics directors, three members of the College Football Hall of Fame, three former college football head coaches,  a former United States Secretary of State, a former member of Congress, and a retired three-star general.

The members of the selection committee are:

  • Jeff Long, vice chancellor and director of athletics, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Chair
  • Barry Alvarez, director of athletics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Lieutenant General Mike Gould, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy
  • Pat Haden, director of athletics, University of Southern California
  • Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive vice president
  • Oliver Luck, director of athletics, West Virginia University
  • Archie Manning, former University of Mississippi quarterback and all-pro NFL quarterback
  • Tom Osborne, former head coach and director of athletics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Dan Radakovich, director of athletics, Clemson University
  • Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University professor, former Stanford provost and former United States Secretary of State
  • Mike Tranghese, former commissioner of the Big East Conference
  • Steve Wieberg, former college football reporter, USA Today
  • Tyrone Willingham, former head coach of three FBS institutions

Selection Committee Responsibilities

  • Select the top four teams, rank them and assign them to semifinals sites.
  • Rank the next group of teams to play in other New Year's bowls if berths are available.
  • Select the highest-ranked champion from the five conferences without New Year's bowl contracts.
  • Assign teams to New Year's bowls
  • Create competitive matchups
  • Attempt to avoid rematches of regular-season games and repeat appearances
  • Consider geography

More Decisions ComingImportant matters such as the selection committee's protocol and composition and the locations for future championship games are yet to be determined.

Participants in the Orange, Rose and Sugar BowlsBoth participants in these three bowls are contracted outside the playoff arrangement (Big Ten and Pac-12 to Rose Bowl; SEC and Big 12 to Sugar Bowl; ACC to Orange Bowl against a contracted opponent.) If a conference champion qualifies for the playoff, then the bowl will choose a replacement from that conference. When those bowls host the semifinals and their contracted conference champions do not qualify, then the displaced champion(s) will play in the other New Year's bowls.

Participants in the New Year's Bowls (Fiesta, Cotton, Peach)The participants in these three bowls will be made up of displaced conference champions and the top-ranked champion from a non-contract conference. Highest-ranked available teams will fill any other berths.

Championship Game Sites
The first College Football Playoff Championship Game will be played in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium on Jan. 12, 2015. The sites for the remaining championships are still to be determined.

About the Allstate Sugar Bowl

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier bowl games in the country, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners in its 79-year history. The Bowl will host the 80th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on January 2, 2014. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 13,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2 billion into the local economy in the last decade.