Dallas-Fort Worth is new center of college football
The College Football Hall of Fame is moving from South Bend, Ind., to a new home in Atlanta in the fall of 2014.
You can put the Hall of Fame wherever you want. Astute observers know Dallas-Fort Worth is the center of the major college football universe.
Wednesday’s announcement that Cowboys Stadium will host the first national title game of the new playoff system only confirms it. D-FW is where more college football activity, on and off the field, happens than anyplace else.
Now, this isn’t to say North Texas is home to the most passionate college football fans, or the best teams. Those titles belong to places like Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge.
However, it’s not like Texas is any slouch when it comes to football fanaticism. Football is ingrained in Texas the way basketball is in Indiana.
Just attend one of the high school playoff dates at Cowboys Stadium that draws 40,000 fans. Or turn on a sports radio show on a Monday after a Cowboys loss.
But if you were to do a heat map of college football activity, the Dallas-Fort Worth area would show up in bright red.
D-FW is home to some of college football’s biggest events. The AT&T Cotton Bowl is one of the traditional New Year’s Day bowls and now is part of the semifinal rotation for the national championship playoff.
The area is home to two other bowls as well: The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth and the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the old Cotton Bowl Stadium. That’s three bowl games played in one metropolitan area.
In addition to the bowl games, the FCS championship has been played in Frisco the last two years. The game has been such a success, the NCAA agreed to an extension to host the game in Frisco through 2016.
D-FW is also home to headquarters of the Big 12 and Conference USA, as well as the National Football Foundation.
There are also two major college football awards headquartered in North Texas with the Davey O’Brien quarterback award in Fort Worth and the Doak Walker running back award in Dallas.
Dallas Fort Worth is also home to three FBS programs: SMU in Dallas, TCU in Fort Worth and North Texas in Denton.
Cowboys Stadium now hosts one of the biggest intersectional contests, the Cowboys Classic, every Labor Day and other major games throughout the season.
And every October, Dallas hosts one of the great spectacles in all of college football with the Texas-Oklahoma game.
Name another area that boasts one of college football’s biggest rivalry games, three bowl games, two conference headquarters, two major awards and is home to three college football programs. Now you can add the national championship game to the list of D-FW’s college football connections.
Not bad for an area that’s often assumed to be strictly a pro sports market.
The College Football Hall of Fame will have a grand re-opening in Atlanta. Thousands will flock there to see mementos of the game’s great heroes and moments.
But if you want to be in the middle of college football as it unfolds today, there’s no better place than Dallas-Fort Worth.
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire