Chick-fil-A Bowl to bid for national championship game, playoff semifinals

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

The BCS presidents and commissioners have given us a playoff, opening the floor to bids for both the national title game and the semifinals, and the Cotton Bowl has already declared their intention to take advantage of those "opportunities" while the bowl overseers in Orlando have not-so-coincidentally announced just this past week a major renovation project of Florida Citrus Stadium.

So it's more than a little surprising that the Chick-fil-A Bowl announced Wednesday that "we're good, thanks," and bowl officials "aren't really all that fired up about this whole 'playoff' thing, now that we think about it," saying they won't be ...

HAHAHA just kidding, the Chick-fil-A is totally bidding for the national title game and semifinals. From its official statement, released Wednesday:

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is eagerly anticipating the opportunity and plans to pursue a bid to host college football's national championship game in Atlanta.

“We believe we can assemble a compelling bid and play a significant role in college football's new post season,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “As the future home of the new College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta has it all … a world-class facility, a proven host city, transportation and lodging infrastructure, corporate support and a track record for successfully hosting major sports events that cannot be matched" ...

In addition to opportunities to host the championship game, the national semi-finals or the new Champions Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl remains committed to hosting the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and elevating the position of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. We will maintain our history and tradition as college football's most charitable bowl game and continue to grow and improve our game within our partner conferences.

The Chick-fil-A immediately lands on the shortlist to join the playoff's six-bowl rotation alongside the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta. The Cotton could very well claim the No. 5 spot, particularly if the SEC and Big 12 settle on transforming it into the new Champions Bowl. That would leave the Chick-fil-A, Capital One, and possibly other bowls (Holiday? Gator? Famous Idaho Potato?) left to battle it out for the all-important final slot.

In that event, the Chick-fil-A might be in the catbird seat. The bowl, its host city, and its facility all have close ties to the ACC and even closer ties to the SEC, and it's hardly a stretch to imagine both Mike Slive and John Swofford pushing to include it in the playoff rotation.

On the other hand, the Big Ten and Pac-12 are already sensitive to the issue of other leagues' home-bowl advantage, for lack of a better word, and may push back against a fourth rotation bowl inside the SEC footprint.* Adding the Holiday or a new bowl in the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium would split the six bowls into three East of the Mississippi and three to its West.

In other words: stay tuned.

*Assuming you include Dallas and Miami in the SEC footprint, a minor stretch but one the Big Ten -- the conference with zero major bowls in its footprint -- will be happy to make.

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