December 31, 2016 -
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face No. 4 Washington Huskies in the Peach Bowl playoff semifinal in Atlanta
. No. 2 Clemson Tigers will play No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl playoff semifinal in Glendale, Arizona
The 12-member selection committee
selects and seeds the four playoff teams. (Number 1 will play Number 4; Number 2 will play Number 3). The original number of committee members was 13.
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 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.
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 12-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 choosing the teams which 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).
Bowl Game Locations:
Semifinal playoff games rotate between the Sugar Bowl
, Rose Bowl
, Orange Bowl
, Cotton Bowl
, Chick Fil-A 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
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.
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:
2018 - Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
2019 - Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
2020 - Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.