"We believe this new format will be good for student athletes, for alumni and for our institutions," Virginia Tech president Mark Steger said during a press conference televised live by ESPN.
"It's a best of both worlds result that will capture the excitement of a playoff while protecting the best regular season in sports, and also the tradition of the bowls. A four-team playoff doesn't go too far. It goes just the right amount."
The four-team playoff is scheduled to operate on an initial contract of 12 years.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock said that no plans have been finalized on the six bowls that will be used as the host sites.
"Six was the most appropriate number, given the number of years of the agreement, and the most appropriate number of times for each bowl to host, given the possible rotation.
Steger noted that plans for non-playoff bowls and financial distribution have not yet be finalized.
"College football's championship game is America's second-most watched sporting event," he said. "We are proud to build on our successes as we grow the sport and hear the voices of everyone who loves college football."
The first final four National Championship game is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2015.