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On-campus semifinals no longer a playoff option

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The how’s and where’s of the first-ever playoff system in major college football remain to be determined, but there is one option to the latter question that is reportedly no longer under consideration.

According to Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis conceded earlier Tuesday that the on-campus option for hosting semifinal games “has been eliminated” from consideration.  When that option was officially taken off the table is unclear.  Why, or at least part of the reason why, was made clear by Hollis — The Granddaddy of Them All.

“For me, it’s critical to keep the Rose Bowl in the equation,” Hollis said. “There’s a lot of historical value and there’s a lot of future value to having the Rose Bowl connected with Michigan State, with Michigan, with the Big Ten Conference, and the home (game idea) takes that out.”

The move comes as little surprise as it was thought on-campus venues were no longer a consideration until officials confirmed the idea was, in essence, alive but on life support.

With the apparent decision to eschew on-campus venues — which was backed by, among others, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and his Pac-12 counterpart Larry Scott — the where of the semifinals in a college football playoff will come down to two options: current bowl venues, or bidding them out to neutral sites outside of the current bowl structure.

As for the favorite among those two options, the Big Ten, per Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, is in favor of the semifinals being contested at current bowl venues, which, of course, includes the Rose Bowl.

“Let’s say it is five degrees. Is that right for the game?” Smith was quoted as saying, going against the grain as to why most thought the Big Ten would push harder for on-campus semifinals. “We’re not pros… A fast surface, good weather is important.”

How that option is viewed by the other 10 conferences remains to be seen and will be up for further discussion in the coming months.

One of the biggest advantages of on-campus games was that, for at least two of the four fan bases, the concern of traveling two consecutive weekends — semifinal, championship game — would have been somewhat mitigated.  Hollis told the media at the Big Ten meetings today that he hopes the NCAA will consider helping families financially with travel expenses now that the on-campus option is no longer a possibility.

The leaders of the game expect to have a final decision on where the games will be contested and how the teams will be selected in 2014 and beyond by the end of July at the latest.

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22 Responses to “On-campus semifinals no longer a playoff option”
  1. fatfreddystubbs says: May 15, 2012 3:37 PM

    Jeez, only these dopes could manage to totally over-complicate something involving a whopping four frickin teams. That’s a shame, I thought on-campus semifinals was a great idea.

  2. fcmlefty1 says: May 15, 2012 4:04 PM

    Understand why it was eliminated, but it might have been a pretty neat thing for the schools that play in historic venues. But if the semis go to the big bowls, it makes two of the New Years Day bowls EXTREMELY relevent. I guess I can live with that trade off – I’m still more concerned about the “who” than I ever was about the “where”

  3. halbert53 says: May 15, 2012 4:05 PM

    Have the semi-finals at the bowls associated with the two highest seeded teams. Should be no brainer. Have championship game at Jerry’s World or some other place central to SEC and Big 12, Big 10 and PAC -2.

  4. dryzzt23 says: May 15, 2012 4:12 PM

    Gene Smith needs to STFU.

    What is wrong with playing football in 5 degree weather? He is playing right into the SEC’s hands solely based on weather.

    Let those SEC wussies come up north to Columbus or Ann Arbor to play in January or February. I doubt they could handle it.

    Football was BORN in the NORTH and the Big Ten should NEVER concede northern sites for semi-finals.

  5. bertenheim says: May 15, 2012 4:40 PM

    Midwesterners are proud, not stupid. They don’t want to stay / travel to a cold climate in January if a warm alternative exists.

  6. dryzzt23 says: May 15, 2012 4:47 PM

    So you’re saying that warm weather trumps everything eh?

    Let the Florida Gators play, in of all places, the GATOR Bowl? This is the kind of biased bowl-rigging that has been happening for years.
    Make the northern fans travel everywhere whilst the SEC fans do not have to travel outside their own backyard.

    Yes we are proud and we are not stupid. But we also want to see those bowl games up here so that our cities/towns/states can reap the monetary benefits of those games.

    I know the media is all about the south and better weather, they are completely biased. Why should the south get the bowl games, the money that comes with them, and allow SEC teams to play in their own campus stadiums?

  7. Deb says: May 15, 2012 4:55 PM

    @halbert53 …

    Whoa! Let’s not rush the college fans to Jerry’s World unless we’re sure he can provide them seats in the stadium rather than folding chairs in an underground movie theater. 😉 Otherwise … nice idea, carry on.

  8. WingT says: May 15, 2012 4:56 PM

    I don’t give a damn WHERE they play the games. At least it looks like we will finally have a “playoff”.

  9. Deb says: May 15, 2012 5:00 PM

    @dryzzt23 …

    You do know the tears from all your SEC whining will freeze in an Ice Bowl, right?

    If that’s what it takes to win a championship, our guys will be glad to play in Green Bay in January. But something tells me you’ll have a hard time selling a vacation in Green Bay to the tourists. However, I’ll be glad to concede playoffs up north in December if you’ll get your kids to come run two-a-days in the Bayou swamps in July and August. And you come run with them. Then you’ll really have something to whine about. :roll:

  10. Deb says: May 15, 2012 5:04 PM

    @dryzzt23 …

    I’m so glad my Crimson Tide didn’t throw tantrums when they had to fly across country to Pasadena for the title game in ’09 or play in LSU’s backyard in January. To hear you tell it, the only reason the SEC has ever won a championship is because the games were played in their home stadiums. Uh-huh. Need a diaper change? Squeal a little louder. I’m sure Mommy will show up eventually. 😥

  11. fullnelson3 says: May 15, 2012 5:12 PM

    Four teams does not a “playoff” make……
    But I guess we will take what these greedy bastards will give us.

  12. auburntigers34 says: May 15, 2012 6:20 PM

    and Auburn won their NC in Arizona. dryzzt23 is full of tears, excuses, and crap.

  13. mountaineer50415 says: May 15, 2012 6:26 PM

    I may be wrong but I do not remember hearing anyone cry about the warm or the cold except for the Big 10.
    I have never figured who the home team is. WV always ends up in the white uniforms. If they play a Florida team, a Georgia team, or a N.C. team they are always the away team. However, they do not always loose, nor do they complain about what degree it is outside. Last year we played in the snow in Rutgers and in the heat in South Florida, twice. Won all three.
    Just wish the Big 10 would grab a hankey and shut up.

  14. kdbroom says: May 15, 2012 7:57 PM


    Last time I checked, none of the Northern schools play football up North in January or February either. Until recently, the Big Ten ended their season by mid-November, well before the weather starts to turn nasty.

    Still, I do know that tons of players from Southern schools dot all of those Northern teams playing in the NFL (who do play into December and January), and they seem to do just fine.

    It’s a cop-out to say that warm-weather schools would lose if they had to play in cold weather. That’s pure speculation, and nothing more.

  15. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: May 15, 2012 8:07 PM

    And LSU had to travel all the way south to New Orleans to win both their BCSNCG … Don’t you dare think we won them at home that’s miss leading.

  16. Deb says: May 15, 2012 8:36 PM

    @thecrazyasian …

    ROFL … you are one of the best commenters on this site. If PFT’s moderators don’t appreciate you, it’s their loss!!

  17. dmcgrann says: May 15, 2012 11:34 PM

    bertenheim said: “Midwesterners are proud, not stupid. They don’t want to stay / travel to a cold climate in January if a warm alternative exists.”


    Exactly! Sure football is played in cold weather – heck, when I was a kid, the first thing we did when it snowed was to play football in it (and I’m from Virginia, where we don’t get all that much snow).

    But, the fact remains, the Big 10 fans I know, like my OSU family members, absolutely salivate each year for the opportunity to go to Pasadena over New Year’s, if not somewhere else warm to play another bowl game.

  18. frug says: May 16, 2012 2:29 AM

    So fans are going to have to pay for tickets and travel expenses to a CCG, semi-final and NCG in the course of about a month?

    Larry Scott was right; if fans were willing to travel to neutral sites for semifinals the NFL would have done it years ago.

  19. philiplewis1 says: May 16, 2012 11:51 AM

    Who says “Grandaddy of the all”. Not most of the college football fans. The Rose Bowl is a reputation only bowl and rarely has a meaningful matchup unless the championship game is there. It’s usually a mediocre Big 10 team from a mediocre conference against usually a better team from a better Pac 10 conference. The viewership is more concentrated on the other, better bowls. Leave the bowls out of it, do an 8 team playoff and play the 1st 2 rounds at the better seed’s location. Then the finals can be wherever.

  20. Deb says: May 16, 2012 1:17 PM

    Okay … one purely female admission: I love the Rose Parade. You can have the Thanksgiving Parade and all the others, but the Rose Parade is the one thing I’d miss. The Bowl game … no, I’d rather have a meaningful playoff.

  21. normtide says: May 16, 2012 8:26 PM

    Frug- College fans travel better than nfl fans. Bama fans filled hawaii’s stadium when we went there.

    Drixzy- So, weather is why the SEC dominates? Yet, your CCG is indoors. Your leaders want warm weather games. And, your omg favorite place of all time is pasadena. Guess it is easier to make an excuse than work harder to actually get better. Starting to understand this rust belt thing…

  22. microbrewuga says: May 17, 2012 9:47 AM

    Oh, come on down to the Georgia Dome and play all the playoff games there. Our giant mega airport can handle it, not to mention our Atlanta area hotels averaging 60% occupancy. An added note, I WISH the weather could be my excuse for my Dawgs.

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