With news that the college football world is moving to a bid system to host its annual title game (via SportingNews), the biggest question is, who should get to the host the game?
Obviously, bids mean that it is open to those willing to pay, but more than money goes into the decision of which site earns the bid. A site can pony up all the cash it wants, but if the location cannot accommodate the event logistically, then it will not get to host the game.
That means airports, hotels, hotels' proximity to the event and the like.
The biggest factor that is going to draw incessant bickering among college football fans is getting the games up north. Big Ten fans are going to say that they want northern sites because it is unfair that southern schools play closer to home. Big Ten fans are going to go one step further and say that football should be played in the cold and in the elements to give teams that are used to the weather an advantage.
Let's nip that in the bud.
Yes, northern sites should be looked at. Places like Indianapolis, Detroit and maybe even St. Louis. Absolutely, they should be investigated. But, sorry, Chicago, the game has to be indoors when teams are traveling above the Mason-Dixon Line.
It isn't about fear. It isn't about pride. It isn't about advantage or disadvantage. It is about a pretty simple point: The championship game is about the best football.
Teams in brutal elements are not out there playing their best football. Certainly, a team like Wisconsin might be better suited to play in the muck and snow than a team like Clemson or Arkansas, but the Badgers are not playing their best football in the slop.
Florida State might be better prepared to play in 100 degree weather with 95 percent humidity than a team like Michigan State or Notre Dame, but the Seminoles are not playing their best football in that sweatfest.
Should outdoor, cold-weather sites be used for the title game?
In the championship game, you should want the best teams playing their best football. Not a fluke that can be altered by weather because one of the players we came to see is rendered ineffective due to the elements.
The folks rooting for an outdoor game because it would "teach those SEC teams a lesson in cold weather" are missing the point.
The championship game is about great on great. It is not about the weather being the star of the show any more than it is about an official with a bee in his bonnet making the game about him. It is about great coaches, great players and great teams doing what they do best: playing football.
Great weather facilitates this; bad weather inhibits it.
When the committee is looking at these bids, it has to make the right choice. Places where the weather is going to be conducive to playing the best football, either based upon location or taking the game indoors.
Either way works, but those are truly the two best options when it comes to deciding on a site based upon the bids submitted.