College Football News May 28: Cities Bid for the College Football Playoff

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Nine cities are in the mix to host the College Football Playoff championship round between 2018 and 2020, Dan Wolken of USA Today reports.

Houston (NRG Stadium) and Santa Clara, California (Levi’s Stadium) bid for all three years, while Atlanta and Miami (2018 and 2019), Charlotte and Detroit (2019), and Minneapolis, New Orleans and San Antonio (2020) also put in.

Wolken writes that executive director Bill Hancock said:

“The ability of the city to put on a big event and has had big events like BCS games and CFP games could come into play. But in our minds nobody has any advantage in this race. They’re all starting from a clean sheet of paper.”

For some the cities vying for College Football Playoff hosting duties, their bids are contingent on either new venues or major overhauls coming together. The new Atlanta Falcons’ venue is the linchpin of Georgia’s bid. Likewise Minneapolis with the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The venue Miami is putting up remains a mystery.

The bidding process is a fascinating competition within the competition. Will the College Football Playoff follow the lead of the Final Four and adopt a rotation of just a few locations?

The Final Four current rotates between North Texas, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta and Indianapolis. Minneapolis hasn’t hosted since 2001. Detroit hosted a Final Four in 2009, but has not since, while Glendale, Arizona, gets the West’s first since 1995 in Seattle.

Steve Sarkisian Stockpiling Quarterbacks for USC’s Future

Athlon Sports

USC enters the 2015 season with a Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback, Cody Kessler. Behind him on the depth is seasoned reserve Max Browne. Browne is being groomed to take over seamlessly when Kessler leaves, and the Trojans head coach, Steve Sarkisian is pounding the recruiting trail to create a long line of succession at the position.

My examination of Sarkisian’s quarterback recruiting strategy for Athlon Sports follows a line that could shore up the Trojans at that position beyond 2020.

Group of Five Football Programs Face Huge Financial Pressure

Erik Brady, Steve Berkowitz and Christopher Schnaars, USA Today

For all the back-patting that has transpired in the first offseason following the inaugural College Football Playoff, release of individual athletic department financials paint a troubling picture for Group of Five football programs.

USA Today takes an in-depth look at such programs trying to build up their profile while also curtailing subsidies. It’s an arduous task that only Boise State — the Group of Five auto-entrant into the New Year’s Six — has mastered thus far.

A major concern certain skeptics of the College Football Playoff had when the new system was announced was that it would serve to further divide haves from have-nots in the FBS. That’s precisely the scenario described within this eye-opening report. Definitely a must-read.