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ARLINGTON Cowboys Stadium has emerged as the favorite for the first national college football championship game as part of a four-team playoff set to be played following the 2014 season.

Cotton Bowl officials have received no official word, but in a phone conversation they sounded giddy about being first in line even though the bidding process has yet to begin.

First in line with no bid seems like a great place to start.

The goal of Cotton Bowl officials is to not only host one national championship game, but multiple championship games in Arlington.

Fans are calling already, wanting to get in line for tickets. Cotton Bowl officials say they have already started a waiting list.

The thinking from the fans is that if they're on the list for AT&T Cotton Bowl tickets, they'll also be first in line to buy tickets for the championship game if and when that takes place.

There is only one thing wrong with that thinking: The Bowl Championship Series will eventually dictate who gets those tickets.

Officials at the Cotton Bowl should receive a request for a bid for the championship game within the next several weeks. The Cotton Bowl will then respond with a formal bid, and the first site should be announced by April.

Starting with the 2014 season, the national champion of major college football will be determined with a four-team playoff. Three of the six sites that will be in the semifinal rotation have already been selected.

The others along with the sites of the first and future championship games will be in place before the summer, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday.

"We're going to announce the first [championship game] site even sooner than others," he said. "I think it might happen even sooner than April."

The conference commissioners have already narrowed possibilities for the first championship game site to Arlington, Texas (Cotton Bowl); Pasadena, California (Rose Bowl), Glendale, Arizona (Fiesta Bowl); Atlanta (Chick-fil-A Bowl); New Orleans (Sugar Bowl); and Miami (Orange Bowl).

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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