The Los Angeles City Council approved Farmers Field stadium plans and before Roger Goodell strong-arms a team into moving to southern California, let’s consider the more meaningful ramifications. I’m speaking of course on how the City of Angels and their sparkling new venue affect college football.
Unless the San Diego Chargers have eyes on the Pac 12, no one in the amateur game is using Farmers Field with any regularity. But as Cowboys Stadium has proven, that doesn’t negate a college football presence.
As the playoff selection committee debuts in 2014, presumably with a greater focus on strength of schedule, neutral site matchups become more attractive. ESPN reported this morning that Reliant Stadium in Houston has eyes on hosting a Labor Day clash annually. It begins in 2013 with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Mississippi State Bulldogs. In Arlington, Jerry World drew the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines this September with the LSU Tigers and TCU Horned Frogs slated for next season’s opener.
Where many of those teams reside plays a role. LSU, Alabama, TCU, Oklahoma State and to a lesser extent, Mississippi State recruit heavily in Texas. Inviting prospective athletes to an NFL palace for a nationally-televised contest maintains name status for the school among area prep programs.
By utilizing Farmers Field the same way, the USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins and Oregon Ducks possess those advantages outlined above with west coast recruits. Strike a deal with a Big 12, SEC or Big Ten opponent and a victory sells just as much as the stadium experience.
In addition, most pundits peg the Final Four national championship to rotate among the current lineup of BCS host sites. Arlington, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta and Glendale dot the list as future favorites. The Phoenix area isn’t held in the same regard as Los Angeles though. When Farmers Field is constructed, it immediately vaults to co-perennial option status with Cowboys Stadium.
College football doesn’t have any use for the ugly politics of the NFL. Their stadiums? The amateur sport is more than willing to engage in a one-night, perhaps on Labor Day, stand.