There will be six host bowls, and the highest rated non-major league will get a slot.
The college football playoff format has been finalized, and there will be six bowls which will rotate among semifinal locations. There is still a lot to be decided, such as what bowl games will be part of the six, and for those wondering there is no seventh bowl spot for a non-major school.
As of now, there are three contract bowls and these will be bowl games with predetermined matchups, except in the years when the contracted leagues are in the semifinals. These bowls are the Rose Bowl which is a Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchup, the Orange Bowl which is ACC going up against either Notre Dame, SEC or Big Ten and then the Sugar Bowl which is SEC vs. Big 12.
Then there will be three other major bowl games, which will be known as host bowls, and their location has yet to be determined. These participants will be decided by the selection committee. The good news for the Mountain West is that the highest rated team from the non-major conferences -- Big East, Mountain West, Sun Belt, MAC, C-USA and independents sans Notre Dame -- will be selected in one of the host bowls through the selection's committee's criteria. This spot for the mid-major program is a guaranteed spot, which means there will be one non-major school each year.
As for the money, the BCS presidential oversight committee chose to take ESPN's deal, which would pay $475 million per year for the rights to the playoffs. There was the option to have the playoffs hit the open market, but that was not done. Perhaps, the presidential oversight committee wanted to have all of the post season on one network, instead of splitting it from NBC/Comcast, Turner or Fox Sports. Seems that with more networks in the running, the money could have been even higher
One interesting piece of news from the $475 million, is that 10 percent of that money is being held for schools that perform well in the Academic Progress Rate.