The new college football postseason system will have six games as originally planned, but now a spot in the marquee bowls will be reserved for the best team from a group of five conferences that includes the Big East.
The tweak to the postseason format that will start in 2014 was made Monday during a meeting of conference commissioners and university presidents.
In September, a proposal was put forth to add a seventh game to the format that would match the best team from the Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference against a team from the Pac-12 or Big 12.
But ultimately that plan was dumped, and instead a guaranteed spot was created to give those conferences access to the top games.
The national semifinals will rotate through six bowl games, setting up two playoff games and four major bowl games every season. The title game will be bid out each year through a separate process similar to the Super Bowl.
The six games will include three "contract bowls" and three "host bowls." The spots in the contract bowls are reserved for teams that have deals with those bowls.
The Rose Bowl has a longtime relationship with the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Sugar Bowl recently agreed to a deal with the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference. The Orange Bowl over the summer signed a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference and is working on a deal to have a team from the SEC or Big Ten, or Notre Dame, play in the Miami-based game.
The top team from the other five conferences without ties to a contract bowl will be assured a spot in one of the host bowls. Under the original plan, teams from those leagues could get in only through an at-large bid.
A selection committee will pick the four playoff teams and fill the spots in the host bowls.
HOUSTON: Senior cornerback D.J. Hayden left a hospital Monday, six days after a hit in practice tore a major vein that feeds his heart and left him in critical condition.
Hayden was rushed into surgery a week ago today for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. The injury is 95 percent fatal and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries, according to team physician Walter Lowe.
LOUISVILLE: Running back Senorise Perry, the No. 20 Cardinals' top rusher (705 yards) and the Big East Conference touchdowns leader with 11, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.
TENNESSEE: Linebacker Curt Maggitt, tied for the team lead with five tackles for loss despite dealing with turf toe and a shoulder injury, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during Saturday's overtime loss to Missouri. … Coach Derek Dooley said that he hasn't been told whether the school plans to remove him at the end of the season, contrary to reports suggesting such a move already was decided.
TEXAS TECH: Coach Tommy Tuberville took full responsibility for losing his cool with a graduate assistant along the sideline during Saturday's win over Kansas. He called his actions "unfortunate" — video of the confrontation went viral on the Internet — and said he apologized to Kevin Oliver, who works with special teams.
WASHINGTON STATE: Coach Mike Leach denied his players are subjected to any type of abuse, as alleged by star receiver Marquess Wilson. He made the allegations in a letter he released Saturday in which he quit the team and also complained that the coaching staff would "belittle, intimidate and humiliate us."