The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, AT&T Cotton Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl are "overwhelming favorites" to be included in the new college football semifinal rotation, ESPN reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
Those three, along with the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl, are bidding to join the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl as semifinal hosts four times in the new system's first 12-year cycle.
The four-team-playoff system will begin following the 2014 season. The Rose and Sugar bowls will host semifinal games that year, with the championship-game venue still to be determined. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Cotton Bowl, is expected to be selected as the site of the Jan. 12, 2015, title game, according to ESPN. Tampa also made a bid to host that game.
The Rose and Sugar bowls subsequently will play host to the national semifinals after the 2017, 2022 and 2025 seasons.
The Orange Bowl will be the site of one of the semifinals following the 2015, 2018, 2021 and 2024 seasons, joined by one of the four bidding bowls.
Two of the bidding bowls will host the semis after the 2016, 2019, 2022 and 2025 seasons.
Final decisions on semifinal sites will be made in late April at the Bowl Championship Series commissioners' meeting in Pasadena, Calif.