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IRVING, Texas — College football has its new championship trophy to signify the start of a new era.

Six months before the sport's four-team playoff crowns its first champion, the 26.5-inch high, 35-pound trophy, which features an ascending virtual football, was unveiled Monday morning.

Designed by Pentagram, the trophy features a focused football at the center of the base that rises to form an actual-size ball. Standing at a total height of 3 feet, including the base, the trophy and base are two separate pieces, so the trophy can be lifted up independently when it is awarded at the national championship game.

Bill Hancock, the College Football Playoff executive director, said he would save the first hoist of the trophy from its base for after the national championship game, which will be played Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Hancock said as many as four-dozen trophy designs were considered.

The trophy is handcrafted by the fine art foundry Polich Tallix. Craftsmen worked for three months, combing cutting edge technologies with metal casting and finishing techniques to create the trophy.

Handmade from 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel, the trophy is 26.5 inches tall. The base is formed from bronze with a heat-applied and hand-rubbed black patina finish, and is 12 inches high, weighing 30 pounds. Total weight of trophy and base is approximately 65 pounds.

Hancock called the trophy "a substantial piece of art."

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