CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock, left, speaks Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 during a CFP mock selection exercise at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Grapevine, Texas. To his left are college football reporter Brett McMurphy, member of the mock selection media panel, and CFP selection committee chairman Rob Mullens, athletic director at Oregon.

GRAPEVINE, Texas — When it comes to the College Football Playoff and its relationship with New Orleans, the expectation is that familiarity breeds success. That’s the feeling of CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock 15 months out from the CFP championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in January 2020.

“We started working with them in the spring,” Hancock said Tuesday of the local organizing committee in New Orleans. “Things are going great.”

During the BCS era, New Orleans hosted four national championship games from 2000-12, the first two as the Sugar Bowl and the last two as standalone BCS title games. The 2020 CFP championship game will be the first in New Orleans under the new system, though the Sugar Bowl has twice hosted CFP semifinals as part of the six-bowl semifinal rotation in 2015 and this past January. New Orleans will next host a CFP semifinal in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day 2021.

Hancock, who was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a CFP mock selection exercise with media from across the nation, said there are pros and cons to having an experienced championship host city like New Orleans compared to a first-time host like Santa Clara, California.

Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, will host the 2019 CFP title game on Jan. 7.

“The difference is they are familiar with our staff and this level of college football,” Hancock said of New Orleans. “Their advantage is their familiarity with the event. The disadvantage is educating people that this is not the Sugar Bowl game. This is not the BCS. This is administered by the people in Irving (Texas, CFP headquarters). We are the host committee and we have to fulfill our obligations.”

The Sugar Bowl will also be on Jan. 1, 2020, as scheduled, less than two weeks before the CFP championship game.

The 2020 game will mark the sixth year of the College Football Playoff. By the CFP’s 10th anniversary in January 2024, the championship game will have been played in 10 different cities. After New Orleans, the CFP final goes to Miami, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Houston after previous games in Arlington, Texas; Glendale, Arizona; Tampa, Florida; and Atlanta.

“We did set out from the start to take the championship game to as many cities as we could,” Hancock said. “We didn’t realize until we got into it that we could do the 10-in-10 concept, which we really like. I don’t know if we’ll be able to do 12 in 12 (years). Who knows? But we feel very strongly that we’re doing the right thing with 10 in 10.”

This season’s semifinals will be Dec. 29 in the Cotton and Orange bowls.

The first CFP rankings will be released Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Future CFP schedules


Semifinals: Dec. 29, Cotton and Orange bowls

Final: Jan. 7, Santa Clara, California

Semifinals: Dec. 28, Peach and Fiesta bowls

Final: Jan. 13, Mercedes-Benz Superdome


Semifinals: Jan. 1, Sugar and Rose bowls

Final: Jan. 11, Miami


Semifinals: Dec. 31, Cotton and Orange bowls

Final: Jan. 10, Indianapolis


Semifinals: Dec. 31, Peach and Fiesta bowls

Final: Jan. 9, Los Angeles


Semifinals: Jan. 1, Sugar and Rose bowls

Final: Jan. 8, Houston

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​