College Football Playoff National Championship

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College Football Playoff National Championship
College Football Playoff Logo.png
Stadium Various
Preceded by BCS National Championship Game (19982013)
Bowl Alliance (199597)
Bowl Coalition (199294)
2015 matchup
TBD (January 12, 2015)

The College Football Playoff National Championship is the new championship game of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).[1] The renaming of the national championship game is part of the establishment of the College Football Playoff (CFP) that will begin at the end of the 2014 college football season.

Under the prior Bowl Championship Series (BCS) format, the game was known as the BCS National Championship Game. Under the older Bowl Alliance and Bowl Coalition systems, the championship game simply used the name of the bowl game in which it was played.

The participants in the title game will be the winners of two semifinal games between the nation's top four teams, as chosen by the College Football Playoff selection committee. This will mark the first time that the top-level NCAA football championship has been determined by a bracket competition.

The location of each year's championship game will be determined by the playoff group's leaders, which considers bids to host the event from various cities and then makes a final selection, in a similar fashion to the Super Bowl or the NCAA Final Four. When announcing it was soliciting bids for the 2016 and 2017 title games, playoff organizers noted that the bids must propose host stadiums with a capacity of at least 65,000 spectators.[2] Leaders say the championship game will be held in a different city each year,[2] and cities cannot host both a semifinal game and the title game in the same year.[3] AT&T Stadium, an NFL stadium in Arlington, Texas, was chosen to host the first game on January 12, 2015.[4]

The winner of the game will be awarded a new championship trophy instead of the "crystal football," which has been given by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) since 1986; officials wanted a new trophy that was unconnected with the previous BCS championship system.[5] The new College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy is sponsored by Dr Pepper, which paid an estimated $35 million for the sponsorship rights through 2020.[6] The 26.5-inch high, 35-pound trophy was unveiled on July 14, 2014.[7]

The game will be broadcast on ESPN through 2026.

Future sites[edit]

The number of cities capable of bidding for the event is restricted due to the 65,000-seat stadium minimum. In addition to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, which was the other finalist for the 2015 matchup,[8] the stadium restriction would limit the bidding to cities such as New Orleans, Glendale, and Pasadena.[2] Other possible future hosts include Orlando, San Antonio, or almost any city with a National Football League franchise, since all but two of the stadiums in that league meet the capacity requirements and, unlike the Super Bowl, there is no de jure restriction on climate. Officials in New York City said they would like to host the game at Yankee Stadium, which hosts the annual Pinstripe Bowl, but it falls short of the attendance limit as it only holds approximately 54,000 fans in its football configuration (a game could still be hosted in the New York metropolitan area, but it would have to be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey).[2][3]

On December 16, 2013, host selections for the 2016 and 2017 title games were announced. Glendale, Arizona (University of Phoenix Stadium) was selected to host the 2016 game and Tampa, Florida (Raymond James Stadium) was selected to host the 2017 game. Four cities had submitted bids for the 2016 game: Glendale, Jacksonville (EverBank Field), New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome), and Tampa. Six metropolitan areas had been vying for the 2017 game: Tampa, the San Francisco Bay Area (Levi's Stadium), Minneapolis (Vikings Stadium), San Antonio (Alamodome), Miami Gardens (Sun Life Stadium), and Jacksonville.[9] Both Pasadena and Orlando have said they will consider future bids. Atlanta is expected to be a strong contender for the 2018 title game after its new multi-purpose stadium opens for the 2017 NFL season.[10]

Since cities hosting College Football Playoff semifinal games cannot host the championship game in the same year, Pasadena and New Orleans are not eligible for the 2018 game; Miami Gardens and Arlington cannot host in 2019; and Glendale and Atlanta will be excluded from 2020 consideration. The same exclusions rotate every three years through 2026.[10]

College Football Playoff National Championship results[edit]

For previous championship game results, see BCS National Championship Game (1998–2013), Bowl Alliance (1995–1997), and Bowl Coalition (1992–1994).
Season Date Winner Loser Game Site MVP
2014 January 12, 2015 TBD 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
2015 January 11, 2016 TBD 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona
2016 January 9, 2017 TBD 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida