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Rose Bowl Playoff Semifinal Moved To Texas

Ross Everett
by in NCAAF on
  • The College Football Playoff is relocating the semifinal game previously set for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to Dallas.
  • California officials refused to grant a waiver to the Rose Bowl that would allow families to attend.
  • The game will now be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Like seemingly everyone else in the state of California, the Rose Bowl is heading to Texas. In this case, they’re not doing it due to high taxes and an anti-business environment–they’re doing it to placate Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and to make sure that they don’t lose one of the biggest brands in college football. Kelly threatened to refuse to play if players couldn’t have family in attendance (and, presumably, coaches couldn’t host recruits).

Not that it’s a bad move. California government officials hold the entities that actually generate the revenue to fuel the state economy in downright contempt. That’s why the tech industry is leaving the state in record numbers. Unfortunately, in the case of the Rose Bowl they’re not likely to leave California for good–at least not yet. Here’s the press release from Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff cartel:

“The College Football Playoff Management Committee and Tournament of Roses have mutually agreed that, given the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California, the CFP semifinal game previously scheduled to be played at the Rose Bowl Stadium will now be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.”

“The game in Arlington will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day.”

“We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game.”

“We are very grateful to Rose Bowl officials and the City of Pasadena. They have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the CFP, the teams that might have played there, and their state and government officials. The Tournament of Roses has acted in the best interest of the people who live in Southern California. And we’re grateful to Cotton Bowl and AT&T Stadium officials for their ability to make this late switch possible.”

“Add this to the list of ways 2020 has demanded flexibility and last-minute accommodation from everyone in college football. Given all the complexities and difficulties involved, this is the best outcome for everyone concerned.”

David Eads, CEO and executive director of the Tournament of Roses, sounds more like he was sandbagged than involved in any sort of ‘mutual agreement’. I’m sure he understands the move since California’s political overlords have simply made it untenable to do otherwise. Here’s his statement:

“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make. While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend.”

How unreasonable have Los Angeles County and California State health officials been during this process? On Saturday, the Tournament of Roses had asked for crumbs–400 to 500 spectators that could have easily been distanced in the 95,000 seat stadium. NYET!! was the response. At that point, the move was a fait accompli.

At least Notre Dame’s powerful brand can now join in on the fun. Following Notre Dame’s dismantling at the hands of Clemson in the ACC Championship Game head coach Brian Kelly made a factually inaccurate case about why the Irish are without a doubt one of the top four teams in the country:

“We’ve got two top-15 wins. We’ve got a win over this Clemson team that was No. 1 in the country. I don’t know that anybody has a résumé that has those two wins, and we’ve played 11 games. That matters, playing 11 games. Testing your team week in and week out I think in my mind puts us as without question as one of the top four teams in the country.”

The Irish have only one top 15 win–against Clemson in double OT when starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sidelined with COVID-19 along with a number of defensive players. Their other ‘top 15 win’ came against #19 ranked North Carolina. The true status of Notre Dame within the college football pantheon was on display today as Clemson dominated them 34-10. Throw out the Clemson win and the Irish beat only two winning teams besides North Carolina–a pair of 6-5 teams in Pittsburgh and Boston College. Without Clemson, the combined W/L record of Notre Dame’s opponents is 34-60. Kelly’s point about playing 11 games is fair and that alone should give the Irish the edge over Ohio State for a CFP berth even though the Buckeyes are the better team.

Clemson and Alabama are the best teams in college football and will meet in the National Championship Game no matter which two teams are chosen to fill out the semifinals. Waiting in the wings to get screwed–#5 Texas A&M who went 8-1 in the SEC with their only loss coming to Alabama. Unfortunately, they don’t have the name value of either Notre Dame or Ohio State. Since the media and college football powers that be like to pretend that the rest of the country is on the same level of the SEC plus Clemson that will determine who gets in and who doesn’t.

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