Aug 5

Conference Title Games - Rotate 'em!

Posted By:Brett Haynes  Tags:

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The postseason of college football is where I have my biggest beef with the sport. There are so many things about the sport that I love, but the way our champions are decided is not among them. I cannot stand that there is not a playoff at the top level of college football involving at least four teams, preferably eight. And now, thanks to a thread I was reading today right here on Fans25, I have another issue to settle: where the conference championship games are played.

A thread on the message boards started off by "StuDawg" was asking fellow fans if they believed that the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville is a neutral game (as it is said to be), or basically a home game for the Gators. Many concurred that they would rather see a home-and-home series played between the two schools.

But the reason I am writing this article isn't because of the discussion going on about the Florida-Georgia game. Further down the thread, the UF-UGA talk evolved into a discussion about the location of where conference title games are played. My thanks go out to loyal Fans25 fan "SkullandBones" - a Nebraska fan - who brought up the point.

SkullandBones: "A friend of mine and I were actually talking about this the other day; why not rotate between the schools? Sorta like the Super Bowl. The main reason (why not) that the conference gives us is weather. Yes, the North stadiums may have snow in December, but so the ....what! It's football for godssakes! Imagine Nebraska and Oklahoma slugging it out for the Conference title in snowy Ames Iowa. It'd be awesome. The pass happy South may actually have to grind one out on the ground, heaven forbid." 

Excellent point he makes about all of it, especially the football part. The Southern division teams are pass happy indeed, as he said, and it would be very cool to see how they played in the snow, if the weather dealt it out as is typical in a good portion of Big-12 territory in early December.

Fellow fan Tigerrb responded to SkullandBones' post in agreement: "I could not agree more about rotating between the schools. I couldnt think of anything cooler than like Florida State playing VT for the ACC title in Death Valley. I know someone will reply that this sounds insane and why would you want the opposition celebrating in your stadium, etc....The fact is that it would be cool as hell to have my school host something like that should we not make it. Even at Duke with a capacity of 35,000 seats, you could bring in temporary bleachers, get it up to like 45,000 just for that game, and each team gets 20,000 tickets. Just seems like a cool idea and I wish they would explore that more for every conference. I know for money reasons, people want the games in these 80,000 seat stadiums. But I think it would be cool as hell to rotate it. Basically you would host the event every 12 years."

Another good point is brought up here by Tigerrb, and that point is that your school would host the event every 12 years. Can you imagine the possibilites here? Each school would want to use this once-a-decade type event as a chance to show off their school and their stadium and their spirit. These games would be memory makers to say the least. Games would be remembered not only by the two teams playing, but by the venue in which the games were played. ESPN would be in the host school's town all week leading up to it, and exposure is always good for your conference and your favorite team. On top of that, the games would just have more of a personal feel and be fun to have seen in a different stadium each year, just like MLB's All-Star game.

Just like the rest of the reason the world goes around, money is in the center of this, and probably a good reason why we will never see these conference championship games take place on home campuses. For now, the Georgia Domes of America are the ones that will fork over the major cash to host these events. But just as the BCS contracts run out eventually, so too do the contracts between the conferences and the big NFL stadiums that host these events (Big-12 Kansas City and Dallas, ACC Tampa and Miami, SEC Georgia Dome). Most stadiums in these three leagues are just as big, if not bigger, than most of the NFL stadiums anyway, so the stadium size argument can be balanced out.

Just like the idea of a true playoff at the top level seems to never want to get here, this idea may never even be discussed. But it is a very cool idea, and one that I think should somehow end up on the desk of the conference commisioners. The other three leagues, that do not currently play a conference title game (the Big East, Pac-10 and Big-10), can cross that bridge when they get there. The Big East has eight teams lined up for 2009, so they aren't ready yet. But the Pac-10 should add Utah to get to twelve teams. And the Big-10 should add Notre Dame to get to twelve teams. When that happens - and it will, heard it here first - then you have those leagues play championship games, as well. That is another whole story for another day....

Fans, there are 28 days until the first game between NC State and South Carolina gets us back underway. Only 28 more days until make believe ideas turn back into talk about what actually is going on down on the field! Thanks for hanging in there with us, college football is almost back!

 



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