By this time next week, college football’s future playoff system should have a name.
“It will be simple and descriptive,” said Bill Hancock, the executive director of the playoff and championship game. “And not cutesy.”
The College Bowl?
The Gridiron Classic?
Hancock wouldn’t play the “getting warmer or colder” game, but affirmed something Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said earlier this week: “We want it to be more like the Masters than NASCAR.”
So, no logos stamped on the title.
“The championship game won’t have a title sponsor,” Hancock said. “It will not have corporate identification.”
The rollout is expected this week when conference commissioners and an athletic directors advisory group meet in Pasadena, Calif., the site of the final Bowl Championship Series national title game in January.
Also, we’ll know the site of the first title game, to be played after the 2014 season, a selection between two finalists: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The assumption since the bidding process began was a slam dunk for the Texas location. Massive Cowboys Stadium has been open since 2009 and already played host to a Super Bowl, an NBA All-Star Game and will be the site of next season’s Final Four.
But a source familiar with the selection process who isn’t authorized to comment publicly said Cowboys Stadium isn’t a slam dunk. Tampa’s bid was aggressive.
“It may ultimately go to Dallas,” the source said earlier this week. “But some writers have declared it a done deal, and it’s not a done deal.”
The first championship game is set for Jan. 12, 2015, and only that game’s site will be announced this week.
“We’re going to pick (one) site for now,” Hancock said.
What won’t be determined at the meetings that begin on Tuesday and run for three days is the identification of the selection committee.
“We’ve made strides, but there’s more work to do,” Hancock said.
Hancock said the committee will consist of 15-22 members with all 10 Division I conferences represented. Its makeup will somewhat resemble the Division I basketball committee, which selects the NCAA Tournament at-large field, but could also include former commissioners, coaches and even a former media representative.
“We are reinventing the wheel,” Hancock said. “There’s never been anything like this in Division I football. We want to be deliberate with it.”
The committee will be closely scrutinized. In the BCS system, about 170 voters in the Harris and USA Today coaches’ polls and six computer polls identified the two teams that played for the championship.
Starting in 2014, about 20 committee members will select the four teams.
The committee will have other selection duties as well. It will complete the major bowl picture with its selections after the bowl games that have conference contracts — Rose, Sugar and Orange — are filled. Also, the committee will select the most qualified team from the five conferences that don’t have a contract with a major bowl.
In the new system, there will be six major bowl games in addition to the championship, with two serving as national semifinals on a rotating basis. The first semifinals will be played at the Sugar Bowl, in the Superdome in New Orleans and in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The new order comes into sharper focus next week.