Forget the Name, College Football Playoff Still Changes the Dynamic of the Sport
College football’s four-team postseason of the future has a name, and that name is "College Football Playoff."
It’s a decision that will make most marketing gurus vomit into their desk drawers, but the straightforward approach is the route they chose. You don’t have to love it—or the four potential new playoff logos up for fan voting—but in the end, the presentation means little.
The implementation, the critical guts of this all, will mold the future of the sport. This is what truly matters.
Although details are still trickling in—and will continue to do so for the next year—College Football Playoff will serve as the alias for, well, the college football playoff.
That’s easy enough.
Bill Hancock, who adamantly opposed a playoff not long ago while serving as the BCS executive director, will assume the same role in the new system. The simplicity is a good thing in his eyes.
"It's really simple," Hancock said at a Tuesday press conference. “It gets right to the point. Nothing cute. Nothing fancy. We decided it would be best to call it what it is."
The infamous creator of Legends and Leaders, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, also chimed in on this. Even with his bold divisions now seated on death row, Delany found humor in this latest naming decision, according to CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
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
Aside from a name, the playoff also has an online home, www.collegefootballplayoff.com, which comes fully equipped with a playoff countdown and a poll in which fans can vote for their favorite playoff logo. The voting will remain open through 3 p.m. ET on April 29.
The site isn’t a work of art. In fact, it has the look and feel of an overnight job by someone with a vague familiarity with WordPress.
And the logos? Well, those aren’t exactly oozing excellence, either.
Nothing in terms of the presentation jumps off the page. The name in particular was a punching bag on social media the moment it was announced, and there’s very little sparkle to be found. The anticipation will clearly come naturally, as it would’ve with a perfect name and spotless homepage.
And that’s OK.
Sparkle can only take you so far. As the foundation for a college football postseason comes into focus, let’s remember what matters: College football, after putting up a fight for many years, is abandoning the flawed and frustrating BCS for something bigger and better.
This is a welcome change, and we're starting to find out more about what exactly it will entail.
We now know that the first title game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The worst-kept secret of them all is out, and ESPN’s Brett McMurphy was able to confirm the news.
Jerry Jones will enjoy the first playoff championship from his home stadium throne, and the closest thing to a present-day coliseum will serve as a worthy landing spot the first time around.
Cowboys Stadium will get 1st title game; Fiesta, Cotton, Chick-fil-A get semifinal bowls. Official announcement Wed— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 24, 2013
Bigger than the location, however, will be the timing.
Once the playoff is live, the two semifinal games will be played on December 31 and January 1. On top of that, the four other bowl games that will be in the semifinal rotation—the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-Fil-A Bowls, according to ESPN—will also be played in this time span.
This means that BCS-type games will no longer be spread throughout the week. Instead, it will be a flurry of must-see matchups, all while the crystal ball drops and you fight that same cheap champagne hangover the very next day.
This, according to SI.com’s Stewart Mandel, is by design. Although this group may lack creativity, it doesn't lack confidence.
With many details becoming public, one glaring issue remains a mystery: the selection committee.
Hancock: "We think we're going to change the paradigm of New Year's Eve in this country." Eight of 12 years, semis will be on Dec. 31.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 24, 2013
Does the "College Football Playoff" name matter to you?
These are the details that matter. The selection committee will be hotly discussed before the BCS meetings wrap up in California, although a full picture of this process likely won’t take shape for some time. When it does, the future will become that much clearer.
And the future is much, much larger than an unoriginal name or bland web page. Criticize these if you please, although it'll all mean very little once it's set in motion.
The future is in the process, the teams, the moments and how it will all function to make the sport that much better.
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