Only 20 more months

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

To quote John "Hannibal" Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together."

That was exactly what I thought last week as the wheels continued turning in the process of finally creating the four-team college football playoff--one that's about 50 years overdue.

Things are finally coming together. It's actually not a dream; it's a real college football playoff. Plans are being put in place and as of now, we are only 20 months away from the first ever semifinal game.

I have to admit, there were times when I thought it was never going to happen. Between the BCS and those stubborn college presidents, we looked to be destined to debate the two teams selected for the BCS Championship Game for decades upon decades.

That's over now--well, after stomaching one more year of computers deciding the title game this upcoming season.

Starting in 2014, Division I college football will finally get its head out of the clouds and join the rest of the sports world with the unveiling of their inaugural playoffs.

Yes, it's only a four-team playoff, and there will still be some schools that will make a stink about not making the cut, but it's a start. I rather have four teams get the opportunity to play their way to the title game than have a computer crunch some numbers and select two schools instead.

Besides, if all goes well with these playoffs, believe me, it'll eventually expand. Once the money starts rolling in, I'm sure the hunger for more teams and more games will intensify.

Look at the NCAA Basketball Tournament. That started off with only eight teams in 1939. By 1975, it had jumped up to 32. By 1984, it was up to 53 and now, it's all the way up to 68.

I don't think we'll be seeing a 68-team college football playoff any time soon, but I don't think it's far-fetched to say that the field could expand to eight within the next 10 years.

Personally, I always thought the eight-team playoff was the best option for college football. That way, many different teams get the opportunity to earn a title but at the same time, they have to play extremely hard every week to make sure they end the season in the top eight.

But hey, four teams are more than good enough for me at this point. I'm just glad I'm actually going to see a college football playoff in my lifetime. I was worried there for a while.

Last week, my excitement was amplified even more by the announcement that they've now named Cowboy Stadium in Arlington as the site of the first championship game on Jan. 12, 2015.

We also know that the first two semifinal games will be played in the Rose and Sugar Bowls on New Year's Day.

With the new playoff format, the semifinal games will alternate between the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls every year. During the second year of the playoffs, the Orange and Cotton Bowls will play host to the semifinals.

As for the championship games, they will be played at a neutral site selected prior to each season. For the 2015 game, Cowboy Stadium was chosen over Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.

And as for this new college football playoff, they chose to name it "the College Football Playoff." Not exactly cutting edge. But then again, it's 2013, and they're just now creating a playoff system, so I guess the unimaginative title shouldn't be a surprise.

But as Shakespeare once asked, "What's in a name?" Hey, the new title can be in Norwegian for all I care. I'm just excited we're only 20 months away from finally having teams earn a Division I championship on the field. What a novel idea.