College football is awesome.
Needless to say, the masterminds behind seem to endlessly search for ways to mess it up, with the epic College Football Playoff being the latest victim in this silly purge.
New Year’s Day 2015 was pretty awesome, right? The CFP got off to a rip-roaring start, as we were treated to two games that would decide the national championship matchup. What an amazing way to start the year! Oregon demolished the Florida State juggernaut, and Ohio State had a major upset over Alabama en route to their national title. It was pretty epic, and now, college football had a holiday it had a relative monopoly over.
364 days later, that was all null and void.
In an effort to “change the paradigm of New Year’s Eve“, the national semifinals were instead placed on December 31. Ratings instantly dropped, and it didn’t help that Clemson and Alabama won their respective games in blowout fashion. So much for Jimmy Kimmel’s party.
Now, the committee may finally be ready to relent on its New Year’s Eve stance. Executive director Bill Hancock stated this week that “(The committee is) exploring if there’s a better date for the semifinals,”, a stark contrast to a few months earlier in this process, when Hancock declared no changes were being thought of and that they were sticking to a predetermined schedule. Over the next decade, the semifinals are slated to land on December 31 seven times, including the upcoming edition. The earliest changes would take place would be after the 2018 season.
Switching the semifinals to New Year’s Eve was never a good option. Certain holidays, indeed are dedicated to sports, with the NFL controlling Thanksgiving and the NBA controlling Christmas for example. These holidays work for sporting events because people are more than likely staying home for them, or at least congregating in one certain spot, ideally with a television set. New Year’s Eve, however, is not one of these holidays. Not only are people looking to go out and celebrate, much like they would Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day (neither of which are known for a certain sporting event falling on them), but the fact last December 31st fell on a weekday also meant many fans were stuck at work during the first semifinal, which began around 4 PM EST. The schedule does catch a bit of a break this year in that regard, as December 31 falls on a Saturday this year.
Overall, the committee would be wise to seek a new option when it comes to scheduling their premiere event, one of the most highly anticipated dates on the sports calendar. The experiment to more or less force a new tradition onto unsuspecting fans who greatly enjoyed a January 1 celebration in the first go-around simply didn’t work, and it’s good to see the powers that be at least somewhat admit that.
Just please take care of this, College Football Playoff Committee. After so long, we were actually starting to enjoy the college football championship process. After years of “multiple champions” and “computer calculations” it was fun to have one specific day to decide who would play for the title. So please…don’t screw this up.
Please don’t become the BCS.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.