Oklahoma traveled to its opponent's home state for three of its four BCS national championship game appearances.
The Sooners battled Florida State and Florida in Miami for the 2000 and 2008 national titles, respectively, and lost to LSU in the 2003 title game, which was played in New Orleans, just a short drive from the Tigers' campus. Oklahoma's other appearance — a 55-19 loss to USC — was also in Miami, one of the Bowl Championship Series' four rotating national-title cities, which also include Pasadena, Calif., and Glendale, Ariz.
Should OU reach the first championship game of the newly dubbed “College Football Playoff” in January 2015, it will likely play in a much friendlier atmosphere. The BCS conference commissioners are meeting in California this week to iron out details of the upcoming four-team playoff. Among the announcements expected over the next few days is the first title-game site, which will probably be Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I think it's really exciting for this region and all the schools in this region to have Dallas as one of those sites,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday on the Big 12 coaches' spring teleconference. “Obviously, everyone knows what a great, quality, awesome stadium it is. Then the location for us is an advantage, or should be.
“We've been in a couple of national championship sites where the crowd is maybe 80/20 or 70/30 and you feel like you're playing an away game, and the other team is playing a home game.”
The BCS commissioners announced a new name — College Football Playoff — for the new system to decide major college football's champion Tuesday night. In the coming days, they'll also reveal the first championship game site and the six rotating semifinal sites for the playoff's first 12 seasons.
On Thursday, the commissioners are expected to discuss the selection committee that will choose the playoff's four teams each year.
Cowboys Stadium will be awarded the first national-title game, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, according to an ESPN.com report. A bid from Tampa, Fla., was also strongly considered.
The Cotton Bowl, which is played at Cowboys Stadium, is also expected to be included among the six bowls that will make up the national semifinal rotation for the next 12 years, along with the Fiesta, Chick-fil-A, Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls, according to the website.
“I think that's awesome,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “I like the idea of being able to move (the title game) around. I think their whole concept was like the Super Bowl. I'm glad that we kept the playoff part of it inside the bowl system, but I think having the first one here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is just awesome if that's what transpires.”
The Cotton Bowl Classic moved in 2010 from its namesake in Dallas' Fair Park to Cowboys Stadium, which seats 80,000 but can be expanded to accommodate around 100,000 fans. The plush, climate-controlled facility hosted the 2011 Super Bowl and will host next year's men's basketball Final Four.
Oklahoma appeared in the most recent Cotton Bowl Classic a few months ago, when it lost to Texas A&M.
“I'm all for a national playoff, and all for it being in Dallas,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “It's a great stadium. I don't know how they can configure the seats, but they can hold possibly up to 98-100,000 in there. Plus, you're never gonna have bad weather.
“I believe that football is at its best down here in the southwest, so let's have the best game down here.”