The date of college football’s first championship game in the new playoff system is Jan. 12, 2015. Where it will be held is to be determined.
The plan is to have cities bid for the right to host the title game, the way the NFL does with the Super Bowl. There figures to be plenty of suitors.
Here are the five cities most likely to host the first big game:
DALLAS/ARLINGTON, Texas. Cowboys Stadium has been the home to the Cotton Bowl for the last two years, and organizers have been trying to get into the BCS rotation for years. The presidents hadn’t even had a chance to approve the playoff plan before a group was being formed to make a bid to put the title game in Jerry Jones’ $1.1 billion state-of-the-art sports cathedral. Does Jones know his Cowboys can’t qualify for that championship game?
ATLANTA. The home of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, organizers of that game were second to let anybody who was listening know that they wanted to host the national title game. As home to the Southeastern Conference title game, many fans in the Deep South already believe the Georgia Dome hosts the national championship game.
INDIANAPOLIS. Lucas Oil Stadium was the site of the first Big Ten championship game last year. For years the Big Ten has complained about its teams having to play postseason games on enemy territory, facing SEC teams in the South and Pac-12 teams out West. Commissioner Jim Delany will push hard to get the title game on his turf for once.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The way the NFL’s Jaguars have been drawing, college football might be the only football being played at EverBank Field in a few years.
PASADENA, Calif. The Rose Bowl is hallowed ground in major college football and it seems appropriate that its first playoff culminates there.