The college football commissioners are making a smart play by cutting down the bidding process for the inaugural playoff final to just six major college football cities. As ESPN reports, instead of an open bidding process, the committee will only be entertaining bids from the four major BCS bowl sites as well as from the Cotton Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl.
In other words, Glendale, Pasadena, Miami, Dallas, New Orleans or Atlanta will be where college football crowns its first four-team playoff champ.
January 2015 is just around the corner, and instead of opening up the process to the likes of Detroit, Houston and other cities that want in on the action, it was smart to keep the first list small. It works for a couple of reasons: most notably infrastructure and selling the game.
Where tradition, history and experience are concerned, the six initial sites bidding for the game all have rich college football ties. The six sites also have experience putting on a college football game. Even the non-BCS bowls in the Cotton Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl deal in packed houses and big-time football. Transitioning to put on a title game will not be an experiment for these sites.
However, all is not lost for those hoping to see a northern title game or a game in Houston's Reliant Stadium. After the initial game site is settled, expect the process to open up. With the groundwork laid for a successful hosting venture, cities less steeped in college football traditions will have a blueprint to follow for success.
Don't freak out about the game staying in classic college football cities early on. The playoff and the championship game are new territory for college football, and instead of completely turning the sport on its ear to try everything new at once, the sport is wisely working to scheme for success. Once the formula is established, hopefully we'll get that northern title game that everyone is clamoring for.