College football history will be made Jan. 1, 2015. That's when the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) officially kicks off, starting in Pasadena, Calif. with the Rose Bowl Game, which is also a CFP semifinal. The winner of Oregon-Florida State will take on the winner of the other semifinal taking place at the Sugar Bowl between Alabama-Ohio State on Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Now that you have the basics, here's five facts about the first-ever gridiron tournament for big-time college football that has been a long time coming:
1. The College Football Playoff National Championship trophy is 26.5 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) trophy — aka The Crystal Ball (which will still be awarded to the top team in the land in a ceremony following the title game) — weighs eight pounds.
2. Three members of the CFP Selection Committee did not play college football: Condoleezza Rice, Mike Tranghese and Steve Wieberg.
3. ESPN paid $7.3 billion for the current 12-year agreement.
4. Committee member Archie Manning was on a health-related leave of absence this season.
5. College Football Championship game venues must have a capacity of at least 65,000. Jerry World has a football capacity of 80,000. Next year's host, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. holds 78,600. And the 2017 site, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., holds 75,000.
As for fans of the bowl system, those are obviously still around. The four erstwhile BCS bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta) have been joined by the Cotton and Peach as part of the CFP semifinal rotation with a national title site to be bid on like Super Bowl host cities.