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BCS era nears end, new College Football Playoff takes shape

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(RNN) - The end is near for the Bowl Championship Series, the flawed and controversial system that has produced the pairings for the college football national championship game since 1998. The Jan. 6, 2014 game in Pasadena, CA, will be the last.

The four-team playoff system that will replace it is called, simply, The College Football Playoff.

The 13 members of the selection committee were named in October 2013. Starting after the 2014 season, the committee will decide which four teams make the semifinal rounds. Unlike the BCS, no polls or computer rankings play an official role.

High-profile members include former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former NFL and Ole Miss star Archie Manning and Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, who is the chair.

What the selection committee says goes.

It will also select eight other teams to play in four more bowl games to take place on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Featuring tripleheaders each day, turning that holiday into a college football TV extravaganza.

The six bowls that will play on those days and serve as semifinal hosts on a rotating basis are the traditional big four - the Rose, the Fiesta, the Sugar and the Orange - along with the Cotton and the Chick-fil-A.

The first two semifinal games will be played on Jan. 1, 2015 at the Sugar and Rose bowls. In 2016, the Orange and Cotton will host. In 2017, the Chick-fil-A and the Fiesta are up.

The most significant change is that the four major bowls are no longer the only venues allowed to host the title game.

While the home cities of these and other bowls may bid for the College Football National Championship Game, any city with a stadium of 65,000 or more can put in a bid.

The inaugural College Football Championship Game (note that the word "National "is no longer part of the title), will be at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Monday, Jan. 12 - future games are set for the Monday of the second week of January.

Arlington and Tampa were the only two cities to bid for the first game. Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff told ESPN.com that AT&T stadium, which holds more than 100,000, was the deciding factor in the decision.

But Tampa, home of Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Outback Bowl, made an impressive presentation, and is among the cities bidding for the 2016 game, along with University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL, and the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

Among the bidders for the 2017 game are Levi's Stadium in San Francisco, Vikings Stadium in Minneapolis, the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, and Sun Life Stadium in Miami along with Jacksonville and Tampa.

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