Swinney likes the new College Football Playoff


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Count Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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as a fan of the new College Football Playoff.

The BCS conference commissioners announced the name of the new postseason system that starts in 2014 on Tuesday, the four team playoff replacing the BCS system. The new postseason format will create two national semifinals to be played New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, with the winners advancing. The six bowls in the playoff rotation will host marquee, BCS-type games on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day during the seasons they do not host a semifinal.

Swinney said Thursday it adds to the excitement of the college football season.

“I just think that it's taken what was already a great product and just made it better to be honest with you. I mean, it's made it more competitive and basically added one more game, which I think is exciting,” Swinney said. “Everybody hates when the football season is over, so now we get one more game. So it will be fun for everybody.”

The semifinal rotation has been determined as follows: The Rose (Pasadena) and Sugar (New Orleans) bowls will host the semifinals in 2015, the Orange (Miami) and Cotton (Arlington) bowls will host in 2016, and the Fiesta (Glendale) and Chick-fil-A (Atlanta) bowls will host in 2017. They will keep that rotation through January 2026.

Swinney said he likes the fact that the bowl games were kept in play.

“I like how they've structured it as far as really incorporating the bowls,” he said. “Because I'm a traditional guy and I just think that's a huge part of college football and having been a player and a coach and seeing the benefits from those experiences. I like the fact that they're moving those playoff games up so that you've still got the bowl experience and then whoever the two winners are, you get back to campus and you've got time to reload and prepare for one more game.”

He then called the new system the best of both worlds, and said it will give teams the opportunity to win a championship on the field.

“I just think it's exciting. There's going to be a lot of anticipation, and, again, just taking what was already a great game, great product and it's made even better,” Swinney said. “It's certainly a challenge for everybody. People talk about playoffs and all that stuff, and listen, first of all, we have -- in college football we have a playoff every week, every week is a playoff.

“For us, we've got to win our division, and then you've got to go win a championship game, and now you've got to go win, if you're fortunate to get in that four, you've got to go win in those four games. You've got to win that game and then you've got to win another game. I think it's the best of both worlds because you have advocates for different things and strong opinions on both sides. I really think it's a good compromise and solution that really can accomplish what everybody's after.”


During the 12-year College Football Playoff contract, the semifinals will be at:

• Rose and Sugar bowls: Jan. 1, 2015; Jan. 1, 2018; Jan. 1, 2021; and Jan. 1, 2024.

• Orange and Cotton bowls: Dec. 31, 2015; Dec. 31, 2018; Dec. 31, 2021; and Dec. 31, 2024.

• Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls: Dec. 31, 2016; Dec. 31, 2019; Dec. 31, 2022; and Dec. 31, 2025.

The Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls are not held on Jan. 1 because the Rose and Sugar bowls are guaranteed to be played on Jan. 1 or Jan. 2 every year even if those bowls are not hosting the national semifinals.

The Holiday Bowl was the only other bowl to bid for a semifinal site.

The championship game dates (all played on Mondays) are: Jan. 12, 2015; Jan. 11, 2016; Jan. 9, 2017; Jan. 8, 2018; Jan. 7, 2019; Jan. 13, 2020; Jan. 11, 2021; Jan. 10, 2022; Jan. 9, 2023; Jan. 8, 2024; Jan. 13, 2025; and Jan. 12, 2026.

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