The BCS commissioners yesterday released the dates and six-game bowl rotation of the new playoff format beginning in '14, and with the latest end to a season set to come on Jan. 13, 2020 and 2025, "get ready for the longest college football season ever," according to Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. The latest game previously "fell on Jan. 10, 2011, the date Auburn beat Oregon for the 2010 BCS national championship." The Rose and Sugar bowls will "host the first national semis Jan. 1, 2015." Each of the six playoff bowls -- three are yet to be determined -- will "host a national semifinal four times through the 12-year term of the contract." In eight of the 12 years, three playoff games will "be played days after the national semis -- sort of like the NIT following the Final Four." BCS Exec Dir Bill Hancock said that existing contracts between the Rose and Sugar bowls and their conferences to play on Jan. 1 "was part of the reason the two are paired together on the same dates throughout." The average layoff between semifinals and championship game in the new playoff era "is nine days." Twice there "will be a 12-day layoff." Seven times during the 12 years there "will be a gap of at least nine days between the semis and championship game" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/8).
PARTNERS IN TIME: Hancock said, "It was not a one-year decision, it had to be a 12-year decision. Calendar issues, days of rest. Sugar and Rose were paired together because of the days of rest since they are playing the same day." The AP's Ralph Russo noted the earliest the championship game will be played "is Monday, Jan. 7, 2019" (AP, 1/8). In Baton Rouge, Scott Rabalais notes unlike in the current BCS format, the playoff championship game "will not follow a set rotation but will be awarded on bids much like the Super Bowl." Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan said that he "has told his staff to expect to host the championship twice in that 12-year span as a guide" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 1/9). Hoolahan said, "We’re excited to be at the outset of the new playoffs and chosen to be the first guys to present the semifinals. But it’s not going to change the way we do business by any stretch." In New Orleans, Trey Iles writes what put the Sugar in the top tier for the next 12 years was "winning the Champions Bowl bid, a partnership with the SEC and Big 12, in November." The Sugar Bowl by receiving that bid "gained automatic access to the new playoff format" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/9).