Why 'College Football Playoff'? You Didn't Want 'Legends and Leaders,' Did You?
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The long wait is over.
We now have a name for the four-team Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) playoff that begins after the 2014 season—a name that's far from inspiring.
Predictably, the rather vanilla name—which, according to Yahoo! Sports, was developed in conjunction with Premier Sports Management—drew criticism from fans, media and administrators alike.
"Is that really the name or just a space-filler?" Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said, per CBSSports.com, once learning of the name.
George Schroeder of USA Today mocked the name after wrapping up his work from Day 1 of the BCS meetings in Pasadena, Calif.
Work on 'College Football Playoff' done for the day. Headed to 'Establishment for Preparation and Sale of Food.'— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) April 24, 2013
But this is college football, and when we spend too much time on names, we get names like "Legends" and "Leaders," remember? Do we really want officials spending a lot of time on the name when the biggest issue —the selection committee—remains on the table?
It's a college football playoff, so why get fancy with the name? Spend too much time on it, and you'll get something silly that has been focus-grouped six ways from Sunday. Better safe than sorry.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany—who played a major part in bringing us "Legends" and "Leaders"–even recognizes the need to keep it simple, according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com.
B1G commish Jim delany on new Playoff name: "I'll be happy w whatever. Obviously I'm not great with names."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) April 23, 2013
The product on the field is what's important, so let's let that do the talking. The public won and is getting a four-team playoff that decides a true champion "on the field." Will it be perfect? No. But the new system has an appropriate name and places a priority on rewarding excellence over granting access.
Are you happy with the name "College Football Playoff?"
That's a good start.
In fact, we should be commending BCS officials for the name.
Up until about a year ago, the word "playoff" was one of those dirty words that you weren't allowed to say as a BCS administrator. Before the announcement that we were moving in this direction following the 2014 season, including it in the name would have been considered a major victory.
As Florida head coach Will Muschamp said on the SEC coaches' conference call on Wednesday, "it's a playoff, and it's college football."
Now on to bigger and more important things, like who will be included on the selection committee. That could be—and probably will be—the biggest debate of the offseason.
As for the current controversy, it's only a name, and one that's appropriate. I actually applaud the College Football Playoff decision-makers for not trying to out-think the room.
If that's not a sign of progress, I'm not sure what is.
*Barrett Sallee is the Lead SEC writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, quotes were obtained first-hand.
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