So we finally got a college football playoff. Great! What’s it going to be called?
Ah, the College Football Playoff. Catchy. Well, any name that replaces the Bowl Championship Series is fine by me. The CFP — rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? — is not perfect, but it’s a start, with two semifinal games and a national championship game. Oh, and what’s that called?
The College Football Championship Game.
Clearly, Don Draper wasn’t working on this account. Amazingly, though, someone was — the BCS hired Premier Sports Management in Overland Park, Kan., to help come up with a name and help “brand” the new system.
Well, in a world in which a cloud is no longer a visible collection of particles of water and ice suspended in the air, a name that exactly describes the product is kind of refreshing.
And where college football decision makers are concerned, the name could have been worse. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said he would like whatever label was proposed because “I’m not good with names — obviously,” a hilarious and self-deprecating remark considering Delany came up with Legends and Leaders for his conference’s division names. They have been so widely mocked that the conference will change them. Perhaps they should give PSM a call to re-brand the B1G in the wake of their success with the CFP and the CFCG.
The names are silly, or perhaps simply boring, but the fact that the BCS will be gone after this coming season is a good thing. A playoff, however small and potentially flawed, is a good thing. It’s just going to take some getting used to. The announcement dealt with so many logistics I thought it was a UPS commercial. Six bowls – Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A – will host semifinal games, with each site getting a semifinal game every third year based on a set rotation. (“Circle the bowl name that doesn’t belong in this group” will also be added to the Wonderlic test.) These six games will be split between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
“This will be must-watch TV for two days in a row,” CFB Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “The whole cultural nature of New Year’s Eve is going to change in this country. People are going to stay home from their parties to watch these games.”
(Normally I’m clubbing that night, but I’ll stay home because Hancock asked me to. I mean that. Hancock is one of the nicest people in the world of sports and the single thing about the BCS that I liked. Hancock moves from executive director of the BCS to the same position in the CFP. We’ll see if he is one day the only thing about the CFP that I like.)
Obviously, not all six games will be semifinals because that wouldn’t make sense. And heaven knows we wouldn’t want the CFP and CFCG not to make sense! The rotation for semifinal games will go like this: Rose and Sugar, Orange and Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Rinse and repeat every three years. In years a bowl game is not a semifinal, it goes back to its usual restrictions of participants and invitees.
The first national championship game — sorry, the College Football Championship Game — will be played Jan. 12, 2015, at Cowboys Stadium. The site and date will change yearly, like the Super Bowl.
What’s left to be done? Well, selecting the selection committee. The CFP wants one similar to the group that chooses and seeds the NCAA basketball tournament, made up of conference commissioners and athletic directors. The committee will select four teams based on record, strength of schedule, head-to-head meetings, conference championships and whatever other criteria it chooses. It will not eliminate controversy, of course, but it’s a start.
You, the fan, have no say in the committee.
But you can be a part of the CFP/CFCG excitement by voting on the new logo at the organization’s Web site.
Oops, I see the CFP does not want the College Football Playoff to be abbreviated as CFP. Wish I’d seen that news release earlier.
For more by Tracee Hamilton, go to www.washingtonpost.com/hamilton.