The first-ever college football playoff title game is four days away, so everyone should be talking about it, right? Well, no.
Take a look at screengrabs of the front pages of some major national sports Web sites, taken Thursday morning.
Here’s ESPN. There’s one story on the front, and you have to click on a tiny picture of Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio with the headline “Spartans’ Take” to find it. Michigan State played both Oregon and Ohio State this season. But hey, when else do you get a chance to blow out a story on the Detroit Pistons in January?
Here’s CBSSports.com. Lookit all these college football players! And … it’s a package about the NFL draft, which is months from now.
Yahoo Sports will have some white-hot college football championship game takes, right? //scans page. “Watch: Puppies pick Ducks to win title on Fallon” WE’RE MAKING PROGRESS.
Of my limited though far-reaching sample, only SBNation has the national title game front and center.
Yes, this is a limited sample size, and the the importance of Web-site front pages has lessened in the age of Google searches and Twitter. And I realize that last weekend’s semifinal games drew the largest television audiences in cable television history. But I think it’s illustrative of a larger point: Namely, that with the introduction of the four-team playoff, all the attention has been shifted to the semifinals, especially now that they’ll be broadcast on a holiday.
The championship game, at least this year, is hardly making a dent in the discussion, not with the NFL playoffs going strong, Jameis Winston declaring for the draft and his accuser suing Florida State (oh, if only the seminoles had beaten Oregon), sports fans having their annual “Hey, college basketball is in full swing!” realization and ESPN’s Stuart Scott sadly passing away. All of this is sucking the air out of the room.
This will change by the weekend, obviously. Most non-entrenched reporters will be arriving in Texas on Friday, and media day is Saturday. But it just seems so odd that the buzz about the playoff — which was so passionately clamored-for — has died now the bracket has been reduced to two.