By RALPH D. RUSSO
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — The first semifinal games in the new college football playoff system will be played in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.
The BCS conference commissioners announced the dates and rotation for all 12 years of the upcoming postseason format after a meeting in Key Biscayne on Monday, the day after the BCS championship game in Miami.
“It was not a one-year decision, it had to be a 12-year decision,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. “Calendar issues, days of rest. Sugar and Rose were paired together because of the days of rest since they are playing the same day.”
Whether they are hosting a semifinal or just a marquee bowl game, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will always be played on Jan. 1, or Jan. 2 in years in which New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. In the eight years in which the Rose and Sugar do not host the semifinals, the four playoff teams will kick off on New Year’s Eve or Saturday, Dec. 30.
Either way there will be a triple-header of major college football games, two semifinals and four other marquee bowl games, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day starting from the 2014 season to the 2025 season.
“Those days will belong to college football,” Hancock said.
The Rose Bowl will also be the site of the last BCS championship game on Jan. 1, 2014.