Currently, the Cotton Bowl selects its teams after the participants in the five Bowl Championship Series games and the Capital One Bowl have been selected. In total, these games take either one or two teams from the Big 12 and either two or three teams from the SEC. The Cotton Bowl organizers choose from the remaining Big 12 teams and usually chooses the conference's runner up if that team is not BCS qualified. That team is usually paired with the SEC West's second place team, as the division winner is either guaranteed a slot in the BCS or the Capital One Bowl.
On February 27, 2007, it was announced that the game would move to Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington beginning on January 1, 2010. With that announcement, Cotton Bowl Classic officials also began a campaign to become part of the Bowl Championship Series when the current contract featuring the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange bowls expired in 2010. Plans to join the BCS were scrapped shortly after ESPN acquired the rights to the series. In 2013 however, it was announced that the Cotton Bowl would join the aforementioned four bowls as well as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as a rotating host for semifinal games in the new College Football Playoff system beginning in 2014, thus returning its status as a premier national bowl game in college football.
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