In a temporary blow to Tampa and Raymond James Stadium, BCS conference officials have identified candidate cities to host the first championship game in college football's new postseason system, and the four current BCS bowls will be among the choices.
The current BCS games — the Fiesta, Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls — will enter an exclusive negotiating period.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday in a statement that commissioners will begin talking to organizers from those games immediately about the possibility of hosting the first national championship game to be played under the newly developed four-team playoff system on Jan. 15, 2015.
He did not identify other cities, but ESPN.com reported that the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Dallas Cowboys Stadium would be considered.
The original playoff plan called for open bidding for cities hoping to host the first national championship game in the new postseason format that will replace the Bowl Championship Series. Tampa officials had hoped Raymond James Stadium would be attractive as a title game site.
But with the first game 28 months away, and semifinal sites to be determined, along with other details, commissioners expedited the process.
The plan still calls for open bidding to determine the sites of subsequent title games.
Hancock did not specify when a site for the first title game will be announced.
He said the selection process for the rest of the semifinal sites and subsequent title games will begin late this fall.
TORII HUNTER JR. COMMITS: Receiver Torii Hunter Jr., the son of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, committed to Notre Dame after the Irish beat Michigan on Saturday. Hunter Jr., from Prosper (Texas), is a four-star recruit and 35th best at his position, according to Rivals.com. Other offers included Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
KENTUCKY: The Wildcats are considering starting freshman Jalen Whitlow at quarterback Saturday against No. 6 South Carolina if Maxwell Smith's injured right shoulder hasn't healed. Smith, a late scratch before last week's loss to Florida, is day to day.
LOUISIANA TECH: Leading rusher Tevin King is out for the season with a torn ACL. King's 118 yards per game lead the WAC and is in the top 15 nationally.
MISSOURI: Linebacker Zaviar Gooden tweaked an old hamstring injury and will not play this week at Central Florida. The team said he is being held out as a precaution. Donovan Bonner will start instead.
SYRACUSE: Coach Doug Marrone is taking the blame for what looks another losing season (1-3). "Realistically, I've been here for four years now," Marrone said. "I have to do a better job. The outcome of what's going on in the program is not satisfactory for the standards that I have."
WESTERN KENTUCKY: The Sun Belt Conference suspended safety Jonathan Dowling for one game following his ejection for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Southern Miss receiver Tyre Bracken.