The Bowl Championship Series' "playoff group" has received bids from four cities that want to enter the playoff rotation starting in 2014-15: Atlanta (Chick-fil-A), Dallas (Cotton), Phoenix (Fiesta) and San Diego (Holiday), CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.
The bidding deadline was Wednesday. San Antonio and Orlando were among cities that strongly considered bidding but opted to stay put. Orlando hosts the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28, and the BCS has asked bidders not to host a college football game within seven days of the semifinal or host game.
Three sources told CBSSports.com they believe there's little question Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix will make the rotation. They would join "contract" bowls Sugar, Rose and Orange, which are already involved in the process. One bowl exec went as far as to call the three cities "ordained" as hosts.
Basically, six bowls will rotate in and out of playoff spots over a 12-year span. In the years when not hosting a semifinal, the bowls will still be under the six-game "playoff" umbrella -- not directly affecting the playoff but getting BCS-style payouts.
The contract bowls will appear in a semifinal four times over the 12-year period. In the off years, they'll fall into their "contract" affiliation -- Big Ten/Pac-12 to Rose, SEC/Big 12 to Sugar and ACC/SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame to Orange.
The BCS' "Request for Proposal" document sent to more than 30 bowls and obtained by CBSSports.com requests that hosting bowls provide 85 percent of their postgame revenue/expense margin back to the BCS "Playoff Group."
The Cotton Bowl is also the prohibitive favorite to host the 2015 national championship game. It's competing with the Outback Bowl (Tampa) for the right.
The BCS requires host bowls meet the 65,000-seat minimum requirement to host a semifinal. Thirteen bowls qualified, but only four bid.