College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said he wanted to wait until after the TV ratings for the entire New Years Six were revealed before commenting on the future of the College Football Playoff schedule. Those numbers came in, and there was no way to twist it as a positive considering the significant drop-off from the previous installment. Regardless, Hancock is sticking to the company line by saying the College Football Playoff will not budge from New Years Eve scheduling in future years.
“The contract is in place for 12 years,” Hancock said in an interview with FOX Sports on Monday. “We have not talked at all about making any changes.”
This has been the same line iterated from Hancock when it comes to expansion of the playoff field and with the scheduling of the semifinal games since the dawn of the College Football Playoff. His line will not change until it is forced to change. Odds are ESPN will make a serious push to get that changed.
A reported total of 18,552,000 people watched the Cotton Bowl semifinal between Alabama and Michigan State. An estimated 15,640,000 tuned in for the Orange Bowl semifinal between Clemson and Oklahoma. For a regular college football game, those would be great numbers, but these were the two biggest college football games of the year and each semifinal game took a significant nosedive from the average 28 million fans that tuned in for the semifinal games a year ago. ESPN was right to be concerned about the playoff playing game son New Years Eve, and understandably so. ESPN is paying mega bucks to broadcast the College Football Playoff, and the CFB Playoff thumbed their noses at ESPN and refused to move the biggest games of the year to a more logical time, whether on January 1 or on January 2.
What should be alarming is the College Football Playoff may be prepared to wait three more years before addressing any possible change to the schedule, which will land semifinal games on New Years Eve again in the 2016 season.
“It may turn out by the time we get to Year 5, and we’ve had competitive games, that we say, ‘You know what, it’s not working,'” said Hancock. “But it’s important not to jump to conclusions after one year of admittedly disappointing ratings.”
Year five?! I am not here to defend ESPN, a competing outlet of course, but they are paying far too much to have the idiots running the College Football Playoff not to adhere to their concerns and best wishes to maximize the return of investment on the broadcasting of the most important games of the college football season. The College Football Playoff folks need to realize playing semifinal games on New Years Eve did not score lowly because of the blowouts that unfolded, but because playing games on New Years Eve is a ridiculous strategy that everybody seems to understand except the people in charge of actually scheduling the games.