10 Stadiums Where the New Playoff National Championship Should Be Played
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Once the 2014 college football season kicks off, a national champion will no longer be crowned after one game between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS standings.
Instead, the BCS presidents elected to modify the current system and include the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in the rankings, which will give college football its own version of the Final Four.
The presidents have not decided where the semifinal and championship games will be held yet. So for now, let's have a little fun thinking about some of the nation's premiere stadiums that would be perfect hosts for the upcoming college football playoff.
This slide show will have five stadiums from the west and south, in addition to five stadiums from the midwest and northeast portions of the country. This way, there can finally be a national title game played in a region without warm weather in the winter.
Without further ado, let us begin to take a look at some of the stadiums that should host college football's playoff once or twice every 10 years.
The Cowboy Classic featured the Michigan Wolverines and Alabama Crimson Tide in week 1 of the college football regular season.
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Location: Arlington, Texas
Attendance Record: 105,121 (2009, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has pulled out all the stops to host marquee events at the newly built Cowboys Stadium, which happens to be home to the now world-famous 2,100 inch video board.
The home of America's team has hosted the Cotton Bowl since it opened in 2009, Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the Big 12 Championship Game in 2009 and 2010, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game and Manny Pacquio's bout with Joshua Clottey in March of 2010. It also won the rights to host the 2014 Final Four.
The mass appeal of Jerry's World is a good enough reason to have the BCS Playoff come to Arlington, Texas, once every four or five years. And when you throw in the fact the stadium can expand its capacity to make room for roughly 111,000 fans it becomes a no-brainer.
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium has hosted several marquee college and professional football events.
J. Meric/Getty Images
Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Attendance Record: 78,468 (2009 BCS National Championship Game)
Many people may not know what teams play in Sun Life Stadium, after numerous name changes and several different sports teams calling the Miami Gardens, Fla., field home.
The Miami Dolphins have played there since 1987 and saw it re-named Dolphins Stadium in 2005, Dolphin Stadium in 2006, Land Shark Stadium in 2009, and its present name in 2011.
The Florida Marlins played at Sun Life from 1993 to 2001 and managed to win the World Series twice during that time span.
As far as college teams and events go, the Miami Hurricanes moved in to the stadium in 2008; the Orange Bowl has been played there every season since 1996 (with the exception of 1999); and it even hosted the Champs Sports Bowl in 1999 and 2000.
In addition, Sun Life has played host to three BCS National Championship Games and five Super Bowls.
Keeping the stadium in the current rotation of BCS title sites would certainly be a wise decision by the conference commissioners.
Ford Field is the home of the Detroit Lions and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Attendance Record: 80,103 (WrestleMania 23)
Football Attendance Record: 68,206 (Super Bowl XL)
College football fans in the northern half of the United States have long clamored for the chance to host an important bowl game, so why should Ford Field not be given a chance to host the BCS Playoff once or twice every decade.
The Detroit Lions resurgence has pumped life back into a long dormant group of fans, along with bringing football back to the forefront of the area's sporting interests.
Ford Field hosted Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks in 2006, the Mid-American Conference Championship Game since 2004 and the Motor City/Little Caesars Pizza Bowl since 2002.
In addition, the Detroit, Michigan, dome has hosted college hockey's Frozen Four and college basketball's Final Four.
It is time for the Midwest to finally get an important college football game and the commissioners need to give Ford Field a long look.
The Green Bay Packers have made Lambeau Field one of the nation's most iconic stadiums.
Michael Heiman/Getty Images
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Attendance Record: 72,740 (2007 NFC Championship Game)
Lambeau Field has been the home of the Green Bay Packers since the stadium opened in 1957 and the owners have never had any other tenants, whether they be professional or college football teams.
The freezing cold temperatures in January and February have never made it an intriguing option to host a Super Bowl, but a stadium in the northern half of the country needs to be included in whatever rotation of locations the BCS Committee decides on and there are not too many stadiums with as much history as Lambeau Field.
The stadium earned the nickname, "The Frozen Tundra", in 1967 when the Packers battled the Dallas Cowboys in one of the coldest games in football history known as "The Ice Bowl." The temperature on the field at kickoff was -13 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind chill made it feel as though it was -48 degrees according to NFL.com.
Fans may want to rule out Lambeau because it could be too cold and the weather is too unpredictable. But the Packers still have to play there in January, so there is no reason why the four best teams in college football cannot make the trek to Titletown, USA, to play for the BCS National Championship.
Plus, who would not want to see their favorite college players making the famous Lambeau leap? I suppose Packer fans would, and I am sure plenty of other fan bases would love it, too.
How could the Rose Bowl possibly be left off this list?
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Location: Pasadena, California
Attendance Record: 106,869 (1973 Rose Bowl, Ohio State vs. USC)
The Rose Bowl has long been a part of college football's great history and needs to be kept in the rotation of BCS Playoff hosts when the new format is decided upon.
The stadium is home to the UCLA Bruins, amd has hosted numerous professional soccer events, including the 1984 Olympic Games, the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final and the iconic 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, in addition to U2's record-breaking concert in 2009.
The BCS National Championship Game was played at the Rose Bowl in 2010 and is scheduled to be played there again in 2014. The 2002 and 2006 Rose Bowls also served as the national championship game.
University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium has hosted the Fiesta Bowl since 2007.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Location: Glendale, Ariz.
Attendance Record: 78,063
The University of Phoenix Stadium took over as host of the Fiesta Bowl in 2007 and has also been the home of the Arizona Cardinals since its construction.
The stadium also hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and have already earned the rights to host Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. The BCS National Championship Game in 2007 and 2011 along with the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Final.
There is nothing wrong with leaving the University of Phoenix Stadium in the mix to host the BCS Playoff roughly every half decade.
Michigan and Virginia Tech filled the Superdome for the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is located in the heart of Louisiana and has hosted the Sugar Bowl since 1975, in addition to being the home of the New Orleans Saints and Tulane Green Wave since it opened its doors for football to be played.
The New Orleans Bowl has been played at the Superdome since 2001, and the Super Bowl has been held there six times and will return in 2013.
Again, the Superdome always provides a rowdy environment, especially when there is a Southern team playing in the postseason. It should remain in the rotation of host stadiums when the new playoff system is unveiled.
Pittsburgh Steeler fans pack Heinz Field on football Sundays in the National Football League.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance Record: 66,731 (2002, University of Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia University)
The beautiful home of the Pittsburgh Steelers sits along the banks of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, which would provide a perfect setting for college football's four teams to battle on the natural grass surface.
Although the Steelers have long been the best football team in the city, the Pittsburgh Panthers set the stadium's attendance record in 2002 when the West Virginia Mountaineers came to Heinz Field for the Backyard Brawl.
The 2011 edition of the NHL's Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals was held at Heinz Field.
The location would be perfect for the BCS Playoff because of its mass media market, historic accolades, the Terrible Towel and its truly neutral location given the recent top four finishers in college football's various ranking systems.
Lucas Oil Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium hosted numerous playoff games when the Indianapolis Colts were among the NFL's top teams.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indianapolis Colts moved from the RCA Dome to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008 and the recently constructed arena hosted the Big Ten Conference's inaugural championship game last year. The conference title game will continue to be played in Indianapolis until 2015.
Lucas Oil Stadium also hosted last year's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, in addition to the 2010 Final Four, which will take place there once again in 2015.
The Colts home stadium may not be a popular one among college football fans, but it fits the bill for a BCS Playoff site located in the Midwest.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears have had great success at Soldier Field over the past several seasons.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Attendance Record: 123,000-plus (Notre Dame vs. Southern California)
Another Northern location that should be given consideration to host the BCS Playoff is Solider Field, which is the home stadium of the Chicago Bears and Northern Illinois Huskies.
Numerous soccer teams have played at Soldier Field over the years and the 1994 FIFA World Cup was held at the Windy City stadium.
Chicago is a large media market in the Midwest and would provide great exposure for one of the NFL's legendary stadiums, in addition to being another well-known neutral setting.