Reports Suggest College Football Playoffs Will Be at a Neutral Site, With No Conference Champion Requirement

Reports Suggest College Football Playoffs Will Be at a Neutral Site, With No Conference Champion Requirement


Reports Suggest College Football Playoffs Will Be at a Neutral Site, With No Conference Champion Requirement

Negotiations are underway for the college football playoff. Gists of the discussions are leaking. Here is what we can reasonably assume will happen.

The final game will be bid out to a neutral site. The semifinal games will be played at a neutral site rather than home stadiums. Officials have been convinced, apparently, that college football teams are incapable of hosting college football home games.

“What happens if TCU finishes No. 2 in the country and hosts a semifinal game?” the source said. “TCU finished No. 3 two years ago. Are they really hosting No. 3 Ohio State in a 45,000-seat stadium? Where are people going to stay if Oregon hosts a semifinal game? In Portland? As much as it would be great for the sport to see a game played in Ann Arbor, Mich., Tuscaloosa, Ala., or Lincoln, Neb., some of the logistical issues are just too severe. I think that idea has come home to roost as far as these guys are concerned.”

These would have been home games. The “logistical issues” would presumably be the same as teams faced for home games. Oregon hosts football games during the regular season. They also are eligible to host Pac 12 title games. Fans could stay at the same places they use for those games. Oregon fans would not need to travel for the game.

The stadium capacity argument is a load of crap. The Fiesta Bowl has a capacity of 64,000 expandable to 73,000. There are 30 college home stadiums with a capacity greater than 70,000. Another 20 college stadiums have a capacity greater than 60,000. The freaking Yale Bowl is big enough to host a semifinal game. Virtually every team that could realistically host a semifinal game has an adequate stadium. If having 10,000 fewer fans at TCU was an issue, that game could easily be moved to the Jerry Dome or the Cotton Bowl.

Officials’ true issue is the nature of those games. Football games (like the NFL playoffs) would create few logistical concerns. “Events” with sops to corporate sponsors, conference officials and television networks would create enough logistical concerns to make bowl sites appear more convenient. The latter option benefits those making the decisions. Expect it to happen. There would be even more convenient semifinal sites that aren’t bowl game sites if that’s the true concern, such as Indianapolis. Don’t expect the argument to extend that far.

Semifinals likely will be played on New Years Day. The games will be a straight-forward 1-4 seed playoff. We thought the conference champion idea would extend logically from the regular season and provide a fairer competition. Many did not. The proposal has been termed “all but dead.”

There seems to have been no discussion about amending the formula, which should be a major component of any reform plan.

The big wigs are “too far out on a limb” to screw things up royally at this stage, though these are largely the same interest groups that concocted the present BCS. Anything is possible.

[Photo via Presswire]

Previously: Conference Officials Meeting This Week to Hash Out College Football Postseason
Previously: The Conference Champion Requirement For a Four-Team Playoff Would Enhance the College Football Regular Season
Previously: A Sensible College Football Playoff Plan Version 2.0