College Sports

College football playoff notes: More postseason football on way

There was a little problem with Ohio State’s entrance Monday, but the mascot seemed to make it through with no trouble.
There was a little problem with Ohio State’s entrance Monday, but the mascot seemed to make it through with no trouble. The Associated Press

Growing bowls

You thought 39 bowls were enough?

College football will reach 40 bowls in 2015 with the addition of the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Teams from the American and Sun Belt conferences will face off at the Citrus Bowl on a December date to be determined. Profits from the game will be donated to breast cancer research.

College football might not stop at 40. According to Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association, other games have been discussed and possible sites are Los Angeles and Hershey, Pa.

With 39 bowl games this year, including the national championship, space was available for 76 teams. Ohio State and Oregon played in two postseason games.

There was room for everybody. Eighty-one teams qualified for bowls with a record of 6-6 or better, and that doesn’t include three teams that finished above .500 but were ineligible this year because they were transitioning from FBS from FCS: Old Dominion, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State.

“The big issue is you have to have two conferences commit to a game,” Waters said. “If you have that, you can get the rest of it to work.”

The 38 bowl games before Monday had an average attendance of 43,285, down 9.2 percent from the 47,659 average for 34 games last year that led up to the BCS title game.

The four new games this year each drew fewer than 30,000 fans. But television ratings for the bowl games ran ahead of last year’s figures. ESPN’s telecasts through New Year’s Day drew a collective 3.4 rating, compared to 3.2 last year.


O-H-I-Whoa!

Ohio State didn’t exactly make a grand entrance Monday at the national championship game.

Usually, the Buckeyes race onto the field from the tunnel led by four students carrying large flags that spell out O-H-I-O. This time, however, one of the flags was snagged on the ground, tripping a cheerleader and sending several players sprawling.

While other players sidestepped the pileup, those on the turf quickly bounced to their feet and ran out onto the field.

Unfortunately, that meant that the team came onto the field at AT&T Stadium led by flags spelling out O, H and I. The O made an appearance later.

An Ohio State spokesman said the cheerleader wasn’t injured.


Glendale on deck

The College Football Playoff for the 2015 season will be played at Glendale, Ariz., site of this year’s Super Bowl. Next season’s college championship will be played on Jan. 11.

The national semifinals will be played in the Cotton and Orange bowls on Dec. 31.

The title game moves to Tampa, Fla., for the 2016 season, with the Peach and Fiesta bowls serving as the national semis on Dec. 31.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock said some 10 cities have expressed interest in landing the championship game, including cold-weather climate cities.


14-game winners

Monday’s winner became the seven team in college football history to win 14 games, and both teams join Brigham Young (14-1) in 1996 and Kansas State (11-4) in 2003 in playing 15 games in a season.

Ohio State (2002), Alabama (2009), Boise State (2009), Auburn (2011) and Florida State (2014) were the most perfect teams in college football history.


2015 openers

Some matchups that will open the 2015 regular season:

Sept. 3 (Thursday):

North Carolina vs. South Carolina at Charlotte, N.C.

Sept. 5:

Alabama vs. Wisconsin at Arlington, Texas

Arizona State vs. Texas A&M at Houston

Auburn vs. Louisville at Atlanta

Texas at Notre Dame

Southeast Missouri State at Missouri

South Dakota at Kansas State

South Dakota State at Kansas

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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