|The Orange Bowl has a deal with Notre Dame, the SEC and the Big Ten for 2014. (US Presswire)|
The Orange Bowl matchup in the new playoff era has been finalized multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday.
The ACC champion will play the highest-ranked team among Notre Dame and available teams from the SEC and Big Ten beginning after the 2014 season.
The pairing finalizes the matchups for the three "contract" bowls – Rose, Champions, Orange -- keeping a large majority of the revenue in the playoff structure in the five power conferences.
ESPN.com first reported that the Orange Bowl was finalizing a deal with Notre Dame, the SEC and Big Ten. The latest move completes how the playoff structure will look beginning after the 2014 season. Three other “access” bowls – not contracted to a team or conference – have yet to be determined.
Even though the revenue distribution for the playoff hasn't been formally announced, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com the conferences in those three contract bowls will keep all the revenue in years when they are not national semifinals. The Rose and Champions bowls are still determining how many times they will be national semifinals during the 12-year playoff agreement. The more times those bowls are out of the playoff loop, the more revenue for the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC.
The playoff now looks a lot like the BCS with most of the money going to the PAC-12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12. Revenue from a separate piece -- the national semis, championship game and three open or "access” bowls -- will be shared by the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame.
Unlike the current BCS, there will be no limit on the number of teams from a conference to fill the 12 available slots. As many as 10 of those spots could be spoken for in any given year. Those 12 schools will be selected by a human committee.
With the Orange move, the Big East is not currently assured an automatic spot in the playoff bowls. It will be up to those access bowls to select a team or teams from the Big East, MAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Conference USA in years when those bowls are not national semifinals. Bowls. In certain years, the SEC and Big Ten will have access to four of the six games in the playoff rotation.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the commissioners are considering an additional two games to the format to provide more access.
In 2011, the contract bowl portion of the playoff structure would have looked like this:
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Stanford
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State
Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Arkansas vs. Kansas State
Clemson vs. South Carolina*
(Note: This model is based on years when none of the three contract bowls would be national semifinals)