Less than 24 hours after a committee of university presidents adopted a four-team college football playoff, Atlanta expressed its desire to play a prominent role.
Chick-fil-A Bowl officials announced Wednesday that they will pursue a bid to host the semifinals or the national championship game, which would be a first for a city that has housed three Final Fours, two Super Bowls and the 1996 Olympic Games. There will be six existing bowl locations that will rotate as sites for the semifinals, with each location playing host two times in a six-year span.
"We believe we can assemble a compelling bid and play a significant role in college football's new postseason," said Gary Stokan, the Chick-fil-A Bowl's 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."
Bidding will not occur until later this year for the playoff, which begins in 2014 and is scheduled to run for 12 years. The Capital One, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls each could decide to bid, as could the recently established Champions Bowl that will pit a member of the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12.
The site of the Champions Bowl also will be up for bid, with Atlanta already having expressed an interest in that as well.
In addition to seeking a loftier role in the postseason, the Chick-fil-A Bowl matchup of teams from the SEC and ACC will continue, as will the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. This year's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game features N.C. State versus Tennessee on Aug. 31 and Clemson versus Auburn on Sept. 1.
Adams up for an ESPY
The 60-yard punt return for a touchdown by Joe Adams of Arkansas against Tennessee last November is among the 16 candidates for an ESPY for best play. Fans can vote for their top play on ESPN.com, and the 16 plays will be cut to eight on July 3 and four on July 9.
In the first quarter of Arkansas' 49-7 victory over the Volunteers, Adams fielded the ball at his 40 before retreating 10 yards and eluding a wall of defenders by breaking seven tackles and racing down the right sideline.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...