January 11, 2016 - No. 2 University of Alabama defeats No. 1 Clemson University 45-40 in the College Football Playoff National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. It is Alabama's fourth national title in seven seasons.
December 31, 2015 - No. 1 Clemson defeats No. 4 Oklahoma 37-17 in the Orange Bowl semifinal game in Miami Gardens, Florida; No. 2 Alabama shuts out No. 3 Michigan State 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl semifinal game in Arlington, Texas.
The 13-member selection committee selects and seeds the four playoff teams. (Number 1 will play Number 4; Number 2 will play Number 3).
The two winning teams of the semifinal games advance to the title game, which determines the Division I FBS college football national champion.
This replaces the heavily criticized BCS postseason system, which ran from the 1998-2013 seasons and was often accused of unfairness relating to team selections.
The College Football Playoff generates higher revenue than the BCS, resulting in "at least double the annual revenue" for each of the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Conferences.
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.
Is contracted from the 2014-15 season through at least the 2025-26 season.
The committee members, which include athletic directors, conference commissioners, former coaches and players, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, serve on staggered three-year terms.
After the ninth week of regular season play, the 13-member 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.
Towards the end of the regular season, selection weekend takes place, where 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 deciding the teams that play in the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in years those bowls are not hosting the semifinal games. (The Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls have previous existing contracts with conferences).
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."
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).
November 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.
October 16, 2013 - The names of the 13 members of the selection committee are announced.
January 6, 2014 - The final BCS National Championship game is played in Pasadena, California. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers 34-31.
July 14, 2014 - The CFP national championship trophy is unveiled.
October 28, 2014 - The selection committee begins issuing weekly rankings for the top 25 teams.
December 6-7, 2014 - Selection weekend takes place. The committee releases the matchups for the inaugural playoffs and for the other bowl games.
January 1, 2015 - The University of Oregon defeats Florida State University 59-20 in the 101st Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California. In the Sugar Bowl, Ohio State University defeats University of Alabama 42-35 advancing them to the first College Football Final against the Oregon Ducks in Arlington, Texas.
January 12, 2015 - The Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Oregon Ducks 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship. The ESPN broadcast has the largest audience in cable TV history with 33.3 million viewers.
Future National Championship Game Sites:
2017 - Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
2018 - Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
2019 - Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
2020 - Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.