The BCS commissioners and Presidential Oversight Committee on Monday approved the arrangement, which provides 12 berths in the six games.
Three of the six access bowls have been determined -- Rose, Sugar and Orange -- and the other three have yet to be named, although the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls are the leading contenders.
Those six bowls will operate on a rotating basis to play host to the semifinal games of the four-team national championship playoff, which begins in two years.
The champions of the Pac-12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 each will receive an automatic berth in the access bowls.
The Big East would no longer receive an automatic berth into the major bowls as it does now. The conference would be included in the "Group of Five," which also includes Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt and the Mid-American Conference. The highest rated of those five conference champions would also be assured a berth in one of the six access bowls.
With Notre Dame also guaranteed a berth if it qualifies, it means seven of the 12 spots in the access bowls would be guaranteed. The other five slots would be selected on an at-large basis, based on ranking determined by a committee.
"Today's meeting is a unanimous ratification of what we announced last June in Washington, D.C.," Charles Steger, the chairman of the Presidential Oversight Committee, said in a release. "I'm delighted that additional details have been resolved and that everything is on track so fans can enjoy the postseason they've been asking for. College football, with its great regular season, is strong and popular -- it's about to get stronger and more popular."
According to an ESPN report, the Presidential Oversight Committee will authorize the commissioners to finalize a media rights deal with ESPN to televise the playoff. Sources say it is worth $475 million per year over 12 years.