BCS notebook: In playoff, top seed will have location edge

PASADENA, Calif. — The BCS and all of its controversy has been relegated to history. We now are in a year that the College Football Playoff will decide the national champion.

The Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl, the latter host site Monday of the final BCS National Championship Game, will host the first CFP semifinals Jan. 1, 2015. The CFP national championship game will be Jan. 12 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Cotton Bowl.

If the playoff had been in place this year, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said, Florida State likely would have been sent to the Sugar as the No. 1 seed. That would have meant if Auburn and Alabama were Nos. 2 and No. 3, as they were in the final BCS standings, they would have played a semifinal in the Rose Bowl while FSU would have faced No. 4 Michigan State.

As in the NCAA basketball tournaments, effort will be made to keep the No. 1 seed as close to home as possible.

Hancock said there could be seeding adjustments to try to avoid regular-season rematches, such as Auburn-Alabama, but not at the expense of the CFP’s integrity as a playoff.

For seedings to change, teams would have to be considered relatively even, Hancock said.

The 2016 and 2017 CFP championship games will be played in Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla. New Orleans bid for the 2016 game but was denied.

Cities may not host a CFP semifinal and final in the same year.

BCS bowl ratings up

Viewership of the BCS bowls was up 15 percent over last year going into Monday’s championship game.

The Sugar, Rose, Fiesta and Orange bowls averaged more than 14.3 million viewers on ESPN compared to just under 12.5 million last year.

Oklahoma’s 45-31 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl was tops with 16.3 million viewers. That’s the most for any non-BCS championship game since 2001.

Stars fell on Pasadena

Longtime Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who led the Seminoles to a pair of national championships, and 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson of Auburn were honorary game captains Monday.

Also in attendance for Florida State was Warrick Dunn, the star running back who played for Catholic High, FSU and the Atlanta Falcons. Other FSU greats at the game included E.J. Manuel, Christian Ponder, Deion Sanders and former Seminoles baseball star B.J. Upton and his brother, Justin.

BCS ‘godfather’ honored

Former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer was honored on the field before Monday’s game.

Kramer, who led the SEC from 1990-2002, is considered the architect of the BCS system.

In an interview last year with CBSSports.com, Kramer said he preferred a tweaked BCS system with just conference champions eligible for the title game (sorry Notre Dame and BYU).

“There isn’t a perfect system,” he said.

Crunching the numbers

Coming into the championship game, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had thrown for 1,576 yards and 18 touchdowns in the second quarter this season, the most of any quarterback in the country.

In the second quarter Monday, Winston was 2-of-17 for 19 yards and no scores.

Winston turned 20 on Monday.

Golden Bear’s boy

Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary is the grandson of golf great Jack Nicklaus.

O’Leary, whose mother, Nancy, is the Golden Bear’s only daughter, was given Nicklaus as a first name.

O'Leary was held without a reception in Monday's title game, giving him 33 catches for 557 yards and seven touchdowns for the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.