Congratulations, Miami, you pulled it off — the final and fabulous BCS National Championship Game in this great city.
I hope everyone enjoyed it. The BCS goes bye-bye after next season. The despised system and its poll-driven and formulaically contrived national championship is a dying relic of college football’s gilded age.
“Behind the scenes, we are making great progress as the countdown to launching the playoff era,” said Bill Hancock, the executive director of the BCS, who has done absolutely nothing more important in his career than make people hate the BCS so passionately that the system will soon change forever. “I’m proud of what we’ve done.”
A new era
Beginning in 2014 (meaning the 2015 postseason), college football, finally, will implement a playoff system to determine which team from the Southeastern Conference will win the national championship.
For Miami, that means it all ended with a bang: Notre Dame verses Alabama. The two teams made so much history through the years in Miami. It was only fitting they met here in the penultimate year of the BCS.
When will college football’s national championship once again bask in the South Florida sun? That’s to be determined. The new bidding system that will award national championships is a complicated thing. The easy answer is that during the next 12 years — the life of the first college playoff contract — nothing is certain, but the Orange Bowl Committee hopes to be awarded at least one championship but, possibly, two.
“Moving forward, national championship games [in Miami] are no longer guaranteed,” Eric Poms, Orange Bowl Committee CEO, told The Miami Herald this week. “That’s the fundamental piece. We’re going to have to compete and earn it. Our focus would be to reach out to community leaders and put on the best regional presentation we can because it’s going to be competitive.”
No offense to Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans, Atlanta, Pasadena, San Francisco and any other city that believes it can be a better host for a national game/event/party in January, Miami is a cut above. It’s worth noting now that the high Monday was 80 degrees and, more importantly, the nighttime low was 69.
Clear skies and a cool breeze — because, you know, it can get hot here at night — provided an atmosphere for kickoff that was stunningly perfect.
Dallas, and its beautiful and new and enormous Cowboys Stadium, is expected to be awarded the first post-BCS championship game. In South Florida, some people — such as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross — would like you to believe Dallas is superior to Miami for big games because of Cowboys Stadium.
Miami a better host
This is simply not true.
As nice as Jerry Jones’ stadium is — and it’s great — it’s not in Miami. In other words, it’s not outdoors and 70 degrees at night in January or February. Ross wants a canopy or a dome or a toupee or something to cover Sun Life Stadium and will try to scare politicians and voters into either putting a top on Sun Life Stadium or risk losing big events. Don’t fall for it, Miami. And, please, don’t do it.
Let’s not allow Ross to kill big-event football.
If you want to keep big games in South Florida, then keep it outdoors.
So it rained during a Super Bowl one time. Big deal. This is Miami. Trust me, that’s not going to prevent anyone from coming here for a football game. The city’s biggest asset is the weather. We don’t put domes or canopies or toupees on football stadiums. Period. Let Atlanta or Phoenix or Dallas be the football capital of this game-could-be-anywhere garbage.
I don’t want the Internet version of this column to spiral into some kind political bickering contest in the comments section, but I actually don’t have a problem with public money being used to upgrade Sun Life Stadium. The baseball stadium was a mistake, yes. But football is not baseball. Football is an investment.
Just don’t block out the sky.
The new college football playoff system will rotate semifinal games among a handful of cities, including Miami. Sun Life Stadium will host a semifinal, which will be just as lucrative as the national title games (if not more so), every three years.
Prepare yourself, Miami. In reality, Monday wasn’t the end of the anything, but rather the beginning of something even better.