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New Playoff Designed To Cover The U.S. From East To West, But Not From North to South

sad-snowmanIf you’re wondering about the complaints that will eventually — three, two, one… now — pop-up regarding the new College Football Playoff, there’s one that we’ll list as a 100% guaranteed lock.

Coming soon, fans of other conferences will bemoan the fact that four of the six bowls making up the new semifinal rotation are located in SEC states.  Trust us.  It’s coming.  And the loudest groans will rise up from Big Ten-owned Rust Belt.

For a better understanding of who the new rotation of major bowls will work, let’s look at the first three years of the plan, as sources say it will look:


  2014 Season   2015 Season   2016 Season
  Rose Bowl   1/1/2015 (Semifinal)   1/1/2016   1/2/2017
  Sugar Bowl   1/1/2015 (Semifinal)   1/1/2016   1/2/2017
  Orange Bowl   12/31/2014   12/31/2015 (Semifinal)   12/31/2016
  Cotton Bowl   1/1/2015   12/31/2015 (Semifinal)   1/2/2017
  Fiesta Bowl   12/31/2014   1/1/2016   12/31/2016 (Semifinal)
  Chick-fil-A Bowl   12/31/2014   12/31/2015   12/31/2016 (Semifinal)
  Championship Game   1/12/2015 (Arlington, TX)   1/11/2016 (To Be Determined)   1/9/2017 (To Be Determined)


As you can see, aside from Pasadena (CA) and Glendale (AZ), the majority of the major bowls and semifinals will be played in SEC territory — Arlington (TX), New Orleans (LA), Atlanta (GA), and Miami Gardens (FL).

Now, the college football bowl scene has traditionally been dominated by warm weather cities.  After all, would you rather get in a December or January vacation in the sunshine of Florida or the sleet of Detroit?  But you can unfortunately throw common sense right out the window on this one.  Big Ten fans won’t want to hear it.

There will be plenty of grumbling over the fact that Big Ten teams — and others from non-SEC leagues — will have to travel to Mike Slive’s backyard in two out of every three major games.  There will be cries that SEC teams won’t have to be tested in the elements (as if two teams playing in ideal conditions is a bad thing).  There will be whines that SEC teams involved in the new system will have more fans on hand for their teams’ games.  (While that may be true, tickets will be made readily available to everyone… and we at would be willing to bet SEC fans will also dominate attendance at the Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl when their favorite teams are shipped out to those points.)

But if you’re wondering what the early favorite for “Something To Cry About” is, it’ll be that the new system is designed to feature Eastern (Miami Gardens and Atlanta), Central (Arlington and New Orleans), and Western (Glendale and Pasadena) cities, rather than Southern, Central and Northern cities.  Nevermind the fact that no Northern cities put forth bids for any of the currently slots.

On the bright side, once the FBS presidents decide on a playoff selection panel and its workings, location complaints will quickly fall down the list of things to moan about.

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Ready For The First “College Football Playoff” Title Game At Cowboys Stadium?

cfb playoff logosThe FBS presidents have decided on a name for their new college football playoff — the College Football Playoff.  No, that’s not the most imaginative name in the world, but if the product is something everyone wants there’s no need for a flashy name.  And just about every college football fan in America has wanted a College Football Playoff at one time or another.

The powers-that-be have also decided on the site of the first title game — Arlington, Texas’ Cowboys Stadium.  Sources reported to ESPN that Tampa actually put together a better than expected bid before losing out to Jerry Jones’ palace.  “It was closer than a lot of people thought it would be.”

You can actually vote for the new playoff logo — and they’re also rather bland — at  (For some reason, the logo that looks like a throwing star ranks ahead of the classier, Logo #2.)

More info leaking from the FBS presidents’ meeting in Pasadena:


*  The six bowls making up the playoff rotation will be: the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl (welcome to the big time), and the Cotton Bowl.

*  No city will host the title game and a semifinal in the same year, so the Cotton Bowl won’t host a semifinal game in the first year of the playoff’s existence (the 2014 season).

*  The semifinal rotation will progress as follows: Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (January 1st, 2015), Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl (December 31st, 2015), Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl (January 1st, 2016), rinse, wash and repeat in that order through the 2026 playoffs.

*  The title games will all be played on Mondays — January 12th, 2015, January 11th, 2016, January 9th, 2017, and so on.

*  In the years the Orange Bowl (ACC versus highest-ranked SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame), Rose Bowl (Big Ten versus Pac-12) and Sugar Bowl (SEC versus Big XII) are not part of the semifinal rotation, they will get the highest ranked team from their existing partners.

*  The playoff selection committee will determine the matchups for the other bowl when they are not part of the rotation.


This information is expected to be officially announced today.

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Trouble For The Sugar Bowl? Looks Like It

As news stories began to pile up regarding improprieties at the Fiesta Bowl earlier this year, we at wondered how long it would take for other bowls to find themselves entangled in similar controversies.

Not long, it turns out.

Below is a tease of tonight’s episode HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”  The subject of this month’s Bernie Goldberg investigation is the college bowl system.

In the tease, you’ll hear accusations that the Sugar Bowl — a longtime SEC partner — has made several campaign contributions to Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal:

So the Sugar Bowl is up next for a trip under the microscope… but if two of these bowls have figured out how to get political favors, you can bet they all have.  In other words, more scandals will follow.

Oh, boy.

UPDATE — Sugar Bowl officials have admitted to making campaign contributions but they say there was “no intent to conceal” and that there actions aren’t even comparable to what was going on with the Fiesta Bowl.

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