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Could a cold-weather location land college football’s title game?

BYU v Notre Dame Getty Images

Here’s sort of an amusing thought: Florida and USC meet in a championship game…at MetLife Stadium, just as another one of these blasted polar vortices bears down on the New York metropolitan area.

It’s a doomsday scenario, for sure, but it’s one the College Football Playoff won’t rule out. The Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Murschel talked to College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock about the possibility of a cold-weather title game:

Under college football’s new postseason model, the site of the national championship game is bid out much like how the venues for the Super Bowl are determined. While its seems unlikely to happen, Bill Hancock said nothing has been ruled out.

Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said the group has not ruled out any cold-weather sites with outdoor stadiums nor has it ruled them in.

This, most likely, falls into the realm of diplomacy and things being too early to make a call on anything. Giving a definitive “no” answer could’ve burned a bridge to a highly profitable game down the road.

The SEC, certainly, wouldn’t be pleased with the thought of playing for a championship in below-freezing temperatures, while the Big Ten may not be aggressively opposed to it.

Murschel throws out a few cold-weather stadiums that could bid for a championship game, though some of them (Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field) aren’t exactly in college football hotbeds.

It’s difficult to see college football playing its championship game in a cold weather, outdoor location that’s not New York or perhaps Chicago. And even MetLife Stadium and Soldier Field would likely longshots to varying degrees.

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23 Responses to “Could a cold-weather location land college football’s title game?”
  1. overratedgators says: Jan 23, 2014 2:30 PM

    Doubtful, but I’d love to see it happen. It’s always fun games to watch when weather factors in.

  2. udub says: Jan 23, 2014 3:12 PM

    Since the door is open to play big games outside of the typical warm locations why is Seattle and CenturyLink Field never mentioned. Won’t be as cold as a NY, Chicago, Philly game. Much rather be in 40 degree, kinda rainy weather than 10 and a blizzard.

  3. BrownsTown says: Jan 23, 2014 3:21 PM

    The NFL plays games in cold weather. I haven’t the faintest idea why this is an issue. Grow a pair, SEC.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Jan 23, 2014 3:39 PM

    No championship game above the Mason/Dixon line. That’s just stupid.

  5. auburntigers34 says: Jan 23, 2014 4:32 PM

    It’s not about the SEC. It’s about the fans that would have to travel/sit in that crappy weather.

  6. cubano76 says: Jan 23, 2014 5:03 PM

    That makes just as much sense as the Browns hiring a no name coach from the Bills. Oh wait…..

  7. 12is3times4 says: Jan 23, 2014 5:05 PM

    I can see MetLife Stadium hosting it because of the stadium’s huge spectator capacity and, well, because New York City.

    Chicago is a non-starter – Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL by far. While this was a smart move by the Bears – they can sell the place out in their sleep, ensuring that every home game is televised – no one’s seriously suggesting that it be in the NFL’s Super Bowl mix, let alone hosting a college football playoff game.

  8. 1990tiger says: Jan 23, 2014 5:49 PM

    It might happen…..once. After that, the organizers will figure out that many fans don’t want to pay big $$ to freeze their arses off. Part of the attraction of going to a game in Pasadena, New Orleans, or Tempe is the chance to enjoy some nice warm weather during winter.

  9. rocket1988 says: Jan 23, 2014 6:27 PM

    New Orleans? That stadium stinks. People go for the game and Bourbon St. That’s all.

  10. dcroz says: Jan 23, 2014 8:20 PM

    Enough of all the “it’s because the SEC doesn’t want to play in cold weather” BS. Until a couple years ago, the Big Ten mandated that its regular season end by Thanksgiving weekend. I don’t recall any Michigan-Ohio State games being played in a driving snowstorm. And I don’t hear folks from the Midwest complaining about being forced to play in the Rose Bowl in sunny, warm Pasadena.

    Face it, this has nothing to do with what the schools want and all about what the fans want, as in how many will show up and buy tickets. While fans of teams like Alabama, Notre Dame, or Texas would show up anywhere to watch their programs play for a championship, it might be hard to fill the stadium for an Oregon vs. Miami game even if it were played in warm weather, let alone in the freezing cold of New York or Chicago in January. Places with indoor stadiums like Indianapolis or Detroit could be in the running to host the championship game, but I doubt anyone will take the chance to have it somewhere else where the most valuable player wind up being the guy operating the snow blower to keep the yardlines visible.

  11. BrownsTown says: Jan 23, 2014 8:31 PM

    dcroz….your husband is calling….he wants you to fetch him a beer.

    rocket1988….not true – Bama fans have other reasons…..

  12. asimonetti88 says: Jan 23, 2014 10:05 PM

    They won’t play it in Seattle because their field isn’t big enough capacity wise and it’s not enough of a destination city to make up for it. Just play it in the rose Bowl or Coliseum like everyone knows it will be

  13. Deb says: Jan 23, 2014 10:48 PM

    I cannot wait for the Super Bowl. Hope it’s 12 below, the seats are frozen solid, and snow is pelting the crowd. It will be so much fun to watch all those people who paid THOUSANDS of dollars for tickets sitting there freezing their butts off in a blizzard. Then … perhaps … someone will remember the real reason championship games are played in domes and fair-weather venues: for the benefit of the stadium crowd.

    BrownsTown, you really need to stop drinking the fire water. No NCAA teams play in extreme winter weather. It simply isn’t that cold at Thanksgiving. Your B1G boys would need to grow a pair to practice in the Bayou in August. Be careful what you wish for, baby. Eddie Lacy has done just fine in Green Bay, Donte Hightower has been killing it in New England. SEC players throughout the NFL have thrived in cold weather. You might find some shriveling among the Ohio kids who’ve only had to handle a little autumn frost if they wind up playing a January championship in Chicago. I expect our SEC boys will man up just fine.

  14. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jan 24, 2014 12:18 AM

    dcroz says:
    “I don’t recall any Michigan-Ohio State games being played in a driving snowstorm.”

    In 1950 tOSU played that school up north under severe winter conditions, including snow and wind. Michigan won the game 9–3, despite never getting a first down and failing on all nine pass attempts. The teams punted 45 times, sometimes on first down. The strategy was based on the weather in that both teams felt it better to have the ball in the hands of their opponent’s near the end zone and hope for a fumble. The game was played in front of 79,868 (a sellout at the time as Ohio Stadium was much smaller in those days. The game is now known as the “Snow Bowl.”

  15. normtide says: Jan 24, 2014 12:20 AM

    It won’t happen. Even these cold weather leagues don’t want it. The b1g title game is played indoors. That league has long avoided cold, outdoor games. Look at their historical bowl affiliations. I haven’t seen any hard data showing southern teams being unable to win in cold climates. Btw, it’s 9 degrees in northern Alabama tonight. It’s not like this is a tropical island, who’s people never experience cold weather. Just another EXCUSE as to why your team can’t win. One cold team can’t even get a coach to interview for their job

  16. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Jan 24, 2014 10:24 AM

    Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31
    Utah 31, Alabama 17

  17. normtide says: Jan 24, 2014 11:00 AM

    Hey Einstein, those games were in the super dome. And I suppose your team has won more games and titles in the last 6 years than Bama. On Jan 24, 2014 9:24 AM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > babyfarkmcgeezax commented: “Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31 Utah 31, Alabama > 17”

  18. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Jan 24, 2014 11:37 AM

    First off, if you are referring to Albert Einstein, you should try to keep up to date with current events, because he passed away several years ago. Unless you think he is commenting from the dead, I don’t know why you would think that I am him.

    Secondly, regarding “And I suppose your team won more games and titles…”

    …My team? I do not play on any college football teams, so I do not understand the comparison of accomplishments between the Alabama football team and a team that I don’t play for. Why do you assume I play on a college football team? Are you an Alabama player? Is that why you are insinuating you had anything to do with the games and titles the Alabama football team won?

  19. normtide says: Jan 24, 2014 3:03 PM

    So in layman’s terms, the team you root for sucks. Therefore, you prefer to degrade those that win. Sad way to go about things, but it’s your life.

  20. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Jan 24, 2014 5:06 PM

    Norm, I don’t get what point you are trying to make. Are you actually trying to argue that someone’s worth is based off what sports team they root for? As if rooting for any particular team over another is supposed to be some kind of accomplishment? What a pathetically sad thought.

    Now, if you are an actual player or coach on the Alabama football team, and you personally were actually responsible for some of the success the Alabama football team has had over the years, congratulations. But if you aren’t, don’t expect me to sit here and kiss your ass just because you root for a particular team. You had nothing to do with the success of the Alabama football team.

  21. normtide says: Jan 24, 2014 5:46 PM

    The question was pretty clear. What team do you root for. Instead of giving a clear answer, you cloud the discussion. Given the title of this post, and discussions afterward, you claim the Oklahoma and Utah loses that Alabama suffered proved they can’t play in cold weather. I stated that those games were played in a dome, in the deep south. So, what are you confused about? Your responses indicate you’re not that into college football. That’s strange because you’re posting on a college football blog. I call Alabama my team, and their players my boys. If that upsets you, then that’s a ‘you’ problem. Just like your weak, veiled put downs reveal your character, not mine. Then again, most of your posts consists of teenage rants, maybe you just really need attention. In that case, maybe I brightened your day.

  22. Deb says: Jan 24, 2014 7:05 PM

    norm …

    We’ve won (and, yes, that’s we because no teams in any sport would exist without the financial support of their fans; we are their reason for being) three championships in four years. But all barkingmad can do is post scores from two irrelevant bowl games. Glad he remembers those scores. I don’t even remember the scores from the title games Bama has won. As long as we’ve got the trophies, who cares? Not worth your time, my friend.


  23. normtide says: Jan 24, 2014 9:49 PM

    Hey deb. I don’t mind and losing to good teams don’t bother me to bad. It hurts for a day or three. But, losing to middle of the pack teams crushes me. Bark is the typical, I hate yours more than I love mine, type. Usually bleeds over into their entire life, making themselves miserable.

    Bama is my team, we win and lose together. If someone hates that, all the better. I don’t need anyone’s affirmation. However I do enjoy meeting like minded folk. Roll Tide and Go SEC my friend.

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