Winners and Losers from the BCS Meetings and College Football Playoff
College football fans' favorite entity, the BCS, has made some rather important announcements regarding the birth of the college football playoff era.
Fans have been waiting for news on what the new name of the college football playoff will be called and where its semifinal and championship games will be played. We now have the answers.
The selection committee, a group of men and women responsible for selecting the four teams to participate in the playoff, has not been officially named. The committee's members have also not been selected. According to College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock's press release, “our talks about how to structure the selection committee are continuing.”
Obviously, there are some winners and losers in this week's big announcements, so let's get right to them.
Loser: College Football Playoff
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For months we've been waiting for what the creative minds of the BCS would come up with in naming this most-important college football playoff. After much thought and ostensibly heated discussions, the BCS came up with the name College Football Playoff.
That's a letdown.
We certainly weren't hoping for a name that causes mass confusion like the Big Ten's Leaders and Legends divisions (rest in peace), but golly, College Football Playoff?
This isn't even a playoff. It's an invitational. And that's why the name tends to make me a little queasy.
The BCS didn't have to get too cute in its naming, but it also didn't have to come up with a generic, plain wrap-like name.
Football's Final Four. The Quad. The SEC Invitational.
Those all work, don't they?
Loser: The First National Championship Game
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That Bill Hancock is calling the game after the semifinal the National Championship Game may rile some fans, yours truly included. In fact, I may just call it the game after the semifinal. Except it is really not a semifinal either—shouldn't there be a quarterfinal ahead of it?
Sure we've made progress, but settling for slight progress doesn't settle the process of determining an FBS national champion. That mindset is akin to buying a flat screen high-definition television and not subscribing to a high-definition cable or satellite service. You've upgraded your television, but your screen resolution will still be the same.
The NCAA names a yearly national champion in all of its football divisions except for the FBS. Until the NCAA takes control of naming a national champion, there remains the possibility of another split-championship.
There is also the potential for teams with equal records not getting an equal opportunity to play for the BCS Championship. Nothing really has changed.
And nothing will ever change until the best FBS team in the country receives a trophy with the inscription, "NCAA National Champions."
Winner: The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
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The Chick-fil-A Bowl was selected to be part of a six-bowl rotation in which it will host a national semifinal every three years.
Because the BCS wanted the bowls to appear equal in billing to the public, the bowl's name was amended to Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. More from ESPN:
"They [the commissioners] want [the bowl names] to be parallel," College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said.
"What everyone is wrestling with is the fact Chick-fil-A has been associated with the game for (17 years)," a source told ESPN. "There's been a debate whether to grandfather in the name or it has to carry some other moniker."
What makes this bowl a winner is two-fold. First and foremost, the bowl's reputation is superb. I've heard from both fans and media members on how well this bowl is run.
But more than anything else, the BCS overlooked the fast food chain's polarizing position on gay rights and instead sent a message to all college football fans; freedom of speech should never be quashed nor its speaker punished because of a controversial opinion.
In: parachuting cows.
Winner: Cowboys Stadium
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Cowboys Stadium will be the site of the BCS Championship game on January 12, 2015.
In a Wednesday press release, Bill Hancock said that “Cowboys Stadium is a wonderful place to host the first game."
The ultra-modern stadium's amenities were certainly considered when choosing the first stadium to hold a championship game in the college football playoff era.
With a retractable roof, a seating capacity of 85,000 and a 2,100-inch high-definition screen which stretches between the field's two 20-yard lines, this is a fan-friendly stadium with minimal unobstructed views of the field.
Loser: The Rose Bowl
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Yes, the Rose Bowl will be included in the six-bowl rotation of the college football playoff era, but the "Granddaddy of Them All" won't be hosting the first *cough* national championship game.
And that's a shame.
The Rose Bowl just underwent a renovation that includes a press box with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the field. Moreover, the Rose Bowl is college football's oldest bowl and should have received more consideration from the BCS.
With that being said, holding the first championship game at the Rose Bowl has two inherent problems.
First, the Pacific time zone presents a problem for East Coast viewers. A 3 p.m. (local) time slot on a Monday isn't prime time in the West and a 5 p.m. (local) time slot means late-night viewing on a weekday for East Coast viewers.
Southern California is also well known for its freeway traffic, and any game starting after 2 p.m. creates a huge problem for commuters (and fans) in the Los Angeles area.
Finally, Pasadena, Calif., is a haul for fans living east of the Mississippi River. The economy is still trying to rebound, and traveling to a warm-weather state in January may result in high commercial airline fares.
But let's be honest here—the Rose Bowl has also been kind to its visitors from those regions. Right, Texas and Alabama?
Winner: The City of Tampa
Raymond James Stadium
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It was hardly a surprise that Cowboys Stadium would host the first college football playoff championship game. But what was a surprise was the strong push made by Tampa to hold the inaugural game. More from Sporting News' Matt Hayes:
Tampa nearly changed everything with a bid that was “shockingly strong,” according to one BCS official. Just how strong?
“I can’t see how (Tampa) won’t host a future game,” a BCS source said.
One BCS source said there is “significant” interest in broadening the scope of where the championship game will be played. That means cities such as Indianapolis, San Diego and Detroit—all of which have hosted Super Bowls—are potential championship game sites.
College football fans love the underdog, and the fact that an underdog city is making waves is good for college football. According to The Tampa Tribune, Tampa is not deterred by its losing bid:
Tampa Bay Sports Commission Director Rob Higgins said “we'll sharpen our pencils” for a bid to host the 2016 game, but he would not reveal details of the package that so impressed BCS commissioners this week.
Good for Tampa. We're rooting for you.
Winner: The City of Arlington, Texas
Cotton Bowl Classic
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“This is one of the great days in the 78-year history of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic,” said Tommy Bain, chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
And he's right. The Cotton Bowl Classic isn't a BCS bowl, but its status rose considerably after being chosen as one of the six bowl-rotation venues in the college football playoff.
A semifinal game will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, once every three years during a 12-year cycle. Cowboys Stadium is also the site of the college football playoff's inaugural championship game.
Texas is well known for its hospitality and barbecue, a winning combination for football fans.
And Cowboys Stadium is the perfect place to prove everything is bigger in Texas.