College Football’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy

You'll never guess the new name for the college football playoff (Hint: It's somewhere in that sentence). (JG-3 - photobucket)

You’ll never guess the new name for the college football playoff (Hint: It’s somewhere in that sentence). (JG-3 – photobucket)

College football finally got it right.


The BCS system, which determines the top two teams in the country based on a convoluted system of computer data and human votes, will be fazed out after one final season. The system has been the subject of endless criticism because of past controversial decisions which either put an “unworthy” team into the title game or left a “worthy” team out. As this list will show you, it hasn’t really been a good way to decide anything.

So, finally, the FBS conference commissioners have decided to replace the loathed BCS system with a four-team playoff, which will let teams decide their own fate (kind of). Teams will be chosen to play in the four-team playoff by a selection committee, consisting of 14 to 20 members. The plan, which has still yet to be released, is that the committee will work much like the one that seeds and selects teams for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and will include at least one member from the 10 FBS conferences.

The conference commissioners also have announced that the first championship game will be played at Cowboy Stadium and that the semifinal games will be played on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day every year. While other details still need to be worked out, everyone seems to be pretty thrilled with the way things are headed.

All week as these details started to pour in, however, there was one big question that everyone was focused on: What would the name be for the playoff? The NCAA basketball tournament has all these catchy names like the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four. Even ice hockey has the Frozen Four. Surely, then, with all the money in college football they would hire a marketing team to come up with a name that would put these to shame.

Cue the epic music.

If we know anything about the powers that run college football, it’s that they’re all about the benjamins. Without a doubt, this name would be going all over shirts, mugs, footballs, dog sweaters, clocks, shot glasses, area rugs, golf tees, ARMagnets, and garden gnomes so you know they would do their homework on this. The name would likely be so catchy and advertising friendly that Doritos would push Old Spice into Disney as they comically raced to be the first to secure naming rights.

On, Tuesday, then, when the name was finally revealed people couldn’t believe how… well, unimaginably boring the name was. The name that the commissioners came up with after almost a year of planning for the new four-team college football playoff is “College Football Playoff.”

You guys are kidding, right?

“We decided to call the playoff what it is — the College Football Playoff,” Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said. “We think the new playoff will be the most dynamic improvement to college football in a generation. Certainly, it’s what the fans want. We also invite everyone to vote online to select the logo and help us kick off the new College Football Playoff.”

While this is an incredibly dull name, we saw what happened when the Big Ten tried to get cute with naming their divisions “Leaders” and “Legends” and were mocked so relentlessly that they will be switching them to the standard “East” and “West” division names in 2014.

“I’ll be happy with whatever,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told reporters at the BCS meetings in Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday. “Obviously, I’m not great with names.”

Oh… right. You guys really can’t win. Go with a creative name and get mocked. Go with a standard name and get mocked.

In that case, good luck with deciding who will be on that selection committee, guys. I’m sure that will go over great with everyone.


CharlieCharlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.

Previously from Charlie Crespo:
Get Your Luddite On
Is Canelo Alvarez Boxing’s Next Superstar?
NBA Playoff Predictions: Western Conference Quarterfinals
NBA Playoff Predictions: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Talking About Madonna is Just Talking About Ourselves

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s