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FAST FACTS: College football playoffs | Opinion

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the college football playoff, a four-team seeded postseason format which began for the 2014 season and replaced the Bowl Championship Series.

Jan. 7, 2019 — The winners of the semifinal games are scheduled to face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Dec. 29, 2018 — No. 1 Alabama is scheduled to play No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla., and No. 2 Clemson is scheduled to face No. 3 Notre Dame at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas.

Jan. 8, 2018 — The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime to win the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta. This was Alabama’s fifth national title since the 2009 season.

Other Facts

— The 13-member selection committee selects and seeds the four playoff teams.

— The two winning teams of the semifinal games advance to the title game, which determines the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football national champion. This format replaces the heavily criticized BCS postseason system, which ran from 1998-2013 and was often accused of unfairness relating to team selections.

— According to the College Football Playoff, compared to the BCS, the “format increases revenue for all conferences and independent institutions.”

Revenue Distribution Policies

— The College Football Playoff trophy, presented to the championship team, is handmade, stands 26.5 inches tall and is constructed from 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel.

— The playoff is contracted from the 2014-15 season through at least the 2025-26 season.

Selection Committee

— The committee members, which include athletic directors and former coaches and players, serve on staggered three-year terms.

The 13 Selection Committee Members

— After the ninth week of regular season play, the selection committee begins ranking the top 25 teams on a weekly basis. The committee identifies and compares the top teams, then votes them into the rankings.

— Toward the end of the regular season, selection weekend takes place, during which the committee determines the playoff matchups.

— The committee selects teams based on conference championship wins, overall win-loss records, strength of schedule, head-to-head matchups and other criteria.

— The selection committee is also responsible for choosing the teams that play in the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in years those bowls are not hosting the semifinal games.

— Members are recused from voting when “they or an immediate family member receives compensation from the school or has a professional relationship with that school.”

Bowl Game Locations

— Semifinal playoff games rotate between the Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

— Cities interested in hosting the national championship game must submit a bid, in a process similar to bidding for a Super Bowl site.


June 26, 2012: A BCS oversight committee of university presidents approves the four-team seeded postseason format presented by the BCS commissioners, to begin in the 2014 season and continue through the 2025 regular season (2026 bowl games).

Nov. 21, 2012: ESPN announces it has obtained the rights for the new college football playoffs from 2014 through the 2025 season.

April 23, 2013: The College Football Playoff is announced as the name of the new system to replace the BCS.

Oct. 16, 2013: The names of the 13 members of the selection committee are announced.

Jan. 6, 2014: The final BCS National Championship game is played in Pasadena, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers 34-31.

Oct. 28, 2014: The selection committee begins issuing weekly rankings for the top 25 teams.

Dec. 6-7, 2014: Selection weekend takes place. The committee releases the matchups for the inaugural playoff and for the other bowl games.

Jan. 1, 2015: The University of Oregon defeats Florida State University 59-20 in the 101st Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif. In the Sugar Bowl, Ohio State University defeats the University of Alabama 42-35, advancing to the first College Football Final against the Oregon Ducks in Arlington, Texas.

Jan. 12, 2015: The Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Oregon Ducks 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship. 33.3 million viewers watched the championship game, making ESPN’s broadcast the largest audience in cable TV history.

Future National Championship Game Sites

2020 — Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

2021 — Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

2022 — Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

2023 — Los Angeles Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

2024 — NRG Stadium in Houston.

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