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Plan to Stage College Football Playoffs on Campus Is "On Life Support"

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One of the few ideas to come out of the Big Ten in recent years that wasn't immediately reviled by the rest of the country was that of possibly holding semifinal college football games on campuses. Home field advantage for the top two teams would prevent the regular season's value from atrophying with the playoff, and raucous on campus environments are part of what makes college football great.

Unfortunately, that idea is "on life support" according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. It has nothing to do with warm weather teams balking at playing in the cold and everything to do with what holding playoffs on campus would entail.

Thanks to schools being on break, they might not have the ability to stage a home game during the time the semifinals would be played at. In addition, I've read that some cold-weather schools shut down a lot of their stadium facilities after the regular season to save energy and deal with freezing temperatures. Everything would have to be brought back up just to stage one game. Greenstein also points out that some stadiums like those of Cincinnati, TCU, and Oregon simply are too small to hold such a game while maximizing revenue on things like luxury boxes. In particular, I've seen a number of big media members say that Boise just doesn't have the facilities in terms of a stadium or hotels to put on a major event like a national semifinal.

Greenstein's best guess of what will happen is a four-team playoff at neutral sites with the Rose Bowl somehow getting preferential treatment. That's a good guess, but such a plan risks having empty seats at semifinal games.