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2018 College Football Preview!

College football officially starts August 25th, however predictions about the 2018 season have been brewing since January! Now that we’re closer to the season kickoff, we wanted to cover some predictions, changes, and of course, information about the upcoming 2019 College Football Playoff Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium!

Predictions for the Season

Heisman Watch – With Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield (the previous Heisman Trophy winners) moving on to the NFL, there’s room at the top for new talent. After last year’s incredible Championship game, Tua Tagovailoa (University of Alabama) is a favorite to take the trophy, however quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) and Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) are poised to shine as well. Never count the dark horse out; Justin Herbert (University of Oregon) has put up some huge numbers despite having minor injuries the past two years and coming into his Junior year he is healthier than ever. Also, Michigan’s Shea Patterson (Ole Miss transfer) seems a perfect fit for Coach Harbaugh’s system! As far as running backs go, Bryce Love (Stanford) is the other odds on favorite with Tua and has a great shot this year, and if Wisconsin’s offense is as good as we think it will be, they’ll set up plenty of holes for Jonathan Taylor.

Key September Games – One of the first games of the season, Auburn vs. Washington, could immediately knock one of the teams out of the running for the Championship before the season even gets rolling. Michigan vs. Notre Dame will be another exciting game, considering these two haven’t met since 2014 when the Irish dominated at 31-0. And who isn’t be excited to see Texas A&M take on Clemson?

Another All-Conference Championship? – Like it or not, we could see the Big Ten or SEC put two teams in the Playoff, most likely ‘Bama and Georgia. If this happens again we can expect the call for an expanded playoff to grow louder, as head coaches Mike Leach (Washington State) and Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) have vocalized. However according to CFP executive director Bill Hancock, “The College Football Playoff has always been successful, and there has been no talk … about expanding.”

Changes for 2018

Uniform Changes – In an effort to better protect players, uniform standards have been tightened up, including the requirement to have the full knee covered, and every team underwent a uniform approval process in June.

Fair Catch Rule – If a kickoff is fair caught behind a team’s 25-yard line, the ball belongs to the receiving team at its own 25-yard line.

Keeping the Action Moving – A 40 second play clock will be set after a touchdown for the extra-point or 2-point conversion attempt. Also, after kickoff, 40 seconds will be set on the play clock to resume the game.

Conference Moves – The Idaho Vandals return to Big Sky, which is likely to rekindle old rivalries with Montana, Idaho State, Montana State, and Eastern Washington. Three teams will play as FCS Independent as they prepare to move to new conferences: Hampton Pirates (former MEAC moving in 2019 to Big South), North Alabama (Gulf South Division II moving in 2019 to Big South), and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (former Big Sky moving in 2020 to Missouri Valley Football Conference).

Championship Excitement in the Bay Area for 2019

Beginning Friday, January 4th, 2019, the Bay Area will be packed with activities! The San Jose Convention Center will be hosting Playoff Fan Central, an interactive event with everything to get excited for the big game – Pep rallies, youth clinics, celebrity appearances, marching bands, and skilled games for fans to test their hand. San Jose’s Discovery Meadow will be hosting the AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! music festival – a free event showcasing music from a variety of genres over several days. Saturday, the SAP Center will host Media Day, where fans can watch and listen to interviews with coaches and athletes. Through Sunday and Monday there are many more events in the area, and whether you like food, want to volunteer for the Extra Yard for Teachers, or just enjoy a good ol’ fashioned tailgate – you’re covered! And of course, ISM will be hosting hospitality in advance of the game for our valued clients, getting them ready to enjoy what promises to be an excellent fifth edition of the Playoff Championship!

The Big Easy in 2020

For the sixth College Football Playoff Championship in 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the city of New Orleans will host! This will be the first time in the Playoff Era that New Orleans has hosted, and with their rich culture and history we can’t wait to see what’s in store. Packages go quickly for this event, so make sure to reserve yours now and build excitement with your guests!