One last season of the BCS

This is it, the final season of the long-lampooned BCS system for determining college football’s national champion.

As in the past 15 seasons, the national-title game will match the teams ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the BCS standings, which are derived from a controversial mathematical formula combining human and computer polls. Beginning with the 2014 season, the BCS will be scrapped and replaced by a four-team College Football Playoff.

Here’s a refresher on how the national championship will be decided this season and a preview of how it will be decided in 2014 and beyond:


How the champion will be determined: The BCS standings again will include three components, each counting one-third: the USA Today poll of current coaches; the Harris Interactive poll of former coaches, administrators and players and current and former media members; and an average of six computer polls. The top two teams in the standings will meet for the BCS championship.

Where the championship game will be played: Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 6.


How the champion will be determined: A committee, which is yet to be named, will select and seed four teams for the playoff. The semifinals will match the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 4 seed and No. 2 vs. No. 3, with the winners meeting in the final. There will be no preset limit on how many teams from a single conference can make the four-team field.

Where the playoff games will be played: The semifinals will rotate among six existing bowls, with each hosting four semifinal games over a 12-year period. The Rose and Sugar bowls will host the semis for the 2014 season, the Orange and Cotton bowls for the 2015 season and the Chick-fil-A and Fiesta bowls for the 2016 season. The championship game will be bid out to cities and venues, similar to the way the NFL chooses Super Bowl sites. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has been chosen to host the playoff's first championship game Jan. 12, 2015.