Happy New Year, handsome. (AP)
By Holly Anderson
Aside from the logos, there's so much to be excited about when it comes to the new College Football Playoff. For one thing, it is a playoff, and while we've been staunchly agnostic throughout this debate -- to the point of openly wondering whether or not a return to the pre-BCS bowl system would be for the best -- four teams will surely lead eventually to eight, as God intended. Second, naming it The College Football Playoff will save the blogging class space in their SEO-friendly opening sentences. Third, this might portend the return of the Peach Bowl, signaling the end of a long regional nightmare for those of us who never stopped calling it the Peach Bowl and the beginning of a promising new marketing opportunity for Chick-fil-A's appallingly addictive peach milkshakes. But there's more. There's so much more.
Stewart Mandel has been taking it all in, and outlines what we know about the new system in detail, including the foregone conclusions of the Jerrydome as the site of the first title game and the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls as the last additions to the semifinal host sites rotation. Here is the part where we began squealing and bouncing:
The six games will be split into consecutive triple-headers on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 (except when one of those dates fall on a Sunday, moving them to Dec. 30 or Jan. 2). The Rose and Sugar will always be played on New Year's Day -- the Rose in its traditional 4:30 p.m ET time slot, the Sugar at 8:30 p.m. -- which means that in eight of the 12 years, the semifinals will be played on New Year's Eve. So, for the first season, it's the Chick-fil-A, Orange and Fiesta on Dec. 31, 2014, followed by the Cotton, Rose and Sugar on Jan. 1.
Now, we love New Year's Eve. We would rather (and regularly do) miss Thanksgiving with our families than skip New Year's Eve with our pals at Ed's Bar & Bar (Where Everybody Knows Your Name, And What You Look Like Naked). But the prospect of kissing Mike the Tiger on the mouth at midnight is not a chance that comes along in just any ordinary lifetime.