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Volume 24 No. 117


The BCS is ending with Monday’s Auburn-Florida State Vizio BCS National Championship Game, but for BCS Exec Dir Bill Hancock, it will "only mean a shift of job titles to running the College Football Playoff," according to the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Hancock said of choosing teams under the new system, "It's going to be more complicated. ... This is going to involve meetings over two or three days that will be thoughtful and deliberate with more debate that will wind up with a set of selective opinions. That's a big difference. And if the playoff does as much for college football as the BCS did, then we'll all be thrilled." He said of the national semifinal games, "All signs point to the fact that these games will be colossal, mega-games. We haven’t discussed yet too much with the coaches on how they view the semifinals relative to the bowl trips. But we expect the teams to arrive five or six days before as they do now, and we will present to them all of the same opportunities that they have in the BCS bowls now." Hancock added of the championship game, "This is going to be every bit as competitive for cities as Final Four and Super Bowl bids. We’re going to turn this into a four-day celebration of college football. That hasn’t existed before, and we will create it with this new event" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 1/3).

APPLES & ORANGES: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dieter Kurtenbach notes Friday's Discover Orange Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State will "mark the end of an era" despite one of the "strongest expected turnouts in the past six years." But Orange Bowl organizers said that the change "is good, and if fans like this year's game, they're really going to like South Florida's bowl future." Orange Bowl VP/Communications Larry Wahl said, "We get an opportunity to host a game that contributes to determining the national champion every three years instead of every four." Between '06-13, the "price of an Orange Bowl ticket decreased annually." SeatGeek Communications Dir Will Flaherty "expects that Orange Bowl tickets will stay at or exceed 2014 prices going forward." The Orange Bowl also has "signed 12-year contracts with the three of the nation's top conferences -- the ACC, Big Ten and SEC -- along with Notre Dame." Ticket sales also will "likely be helped by the Orange Bowl's new date." As part of the "new system, the Orange Bowl will move to New Year's Eve for at least the next three years" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/3).

IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: In Las Vegas, Taylor Bern reported UNLV knew it was not "going to get close to selling" its allotment of tickets for Wednesday's Heart of Dallas Bowl against North Texas, so there were "already plans in place to help soften the financial hit." Some school donors "gave extra money that the university used on tickets to give to local military and Boys & Girls Clubs in Texas." UNLV AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy also made plans to ask the Mountain West Conference for "assistance since the Fort Worth Bowl requires only about $200,000 in ticket purchases versus the Heart of Dallas Bowl's $400,000." UNLV was "flipped from Fort Worth to Dallas by ESPN Regional Television, which owns both games." Kunzer-Murphy prior to the game said, "I don’t think you put a price on it. … You’re going to see the dividends over the years because of something like this tomorrow morning on national TV" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 1/1).