The new agreement also gives ESPN the rights to the three "host bowls," which will feature at-large teams along with the top squad from the group of five conferences without ties to a contract bowl. The sites for the host bowls are still to be determined, though the most likely landing spots are the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Wednesday's agreement in principle includes rights for TV, radio, mobile, online and international.
"Because of college football's widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games," ESPN President John Skipper said.
College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.