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Midwest remains out in the cold for College Football Playoff title games

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National title sites announced for 2018-2020 (1:53)

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock announces the National Championship sites for 2018, 2019 and 2020. (1:53)

The Big Ten has many of college football's largest stadiums and some of the sport's most passionate fans. A Big Ten team won the inaugural College Football Playoff last season when Ohio State brought some pride back to the league.

So when the CFP set up a news conference in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon to announce its title-game sites from 2018-2020, it seemed like a good omen that a Big Ten city would get at least one of them. Detroit was in the running for 2019, and Minneapolis -- with its new stadium on the way -- appeared a strong candidate for 2020.

Instead, the CFP management committee clung to college football's old ways, handing out the prized title-game bids to two southern cities (Atlanta in 2018, New Orleans 2020) and California (Santa Clara 2019). As for the Midwest? They will take your teams and all your bonzo TV ratings, but you don't get to actually host a game.

Most appallingly, playoff executive director Bill Hancock talked about how big a priority it was for CFP officials to "move this event around."

"I think it’s important that fans in as many parts of the country as possible get a chance to see this event," Hancock said. "That was a significant goal."

Mission accomplished -- for those fortunate enough to live in the South, Texas, Arizona or California. Apparently, people in the Midwest (and the East, for that matter) don't count. In other words, not much different than how the major bowl games operate.

There is nothing wrong with going to Atlanta, the Bay Area and New Orleans. All three cities figure to be great hosts. But the CFP had a chance to make this a truly national event, and it chose not to do so.

Oh, there were excuses. Hancock said Detroit's 2019 bid was hampered by the fact that the city's convention center would not be available for auxiliary needs. Detroit offered to set up tents outside Ford Field, though that might not be the best situation in January.

Why not Minneapolis? It's a great, lively, walkable city (yes, even in the cold), and the spectacular new downtown stadium has already been awarded the Super Bowl (2018) and the NCAA men's Final Four (2019). Somehow, however, that became a detriment to the city's CFP bid.

"We're not sure we wanted to be third in that row," Hancock said, citing potential "community fatigue" for the Twin Cities with all those events in consecutive years. Which is really odd when you consider Glendale, Arizona, had the Super Bowl last year, gets the second CFP title game this season and the Final Four in 2017. And, of course, New Orleans manages to have major championship events all the time without getting worn out (though the fans carousing on Bourbon Street certainly do).

Hancock insisted that weather is not a factor in the bid process and joked that the first title game was played in a cold-weather city when temperatures dipped into the 30s in Dallas in January. He expected Big Ten cities to be in the running for the next set of games, which will be award in two or three years.

"Northern-tier cities have not been ruled out, and I don’t expect them to be," Hancock said.

But they do seem to be fighting an uphill battle. The best bet for the Midwest is probably Indianapolis, a city unmatched in its ability to put on top-notch college sporting events. Indy hasn't yet bid on a CFP title game. It needs to get in the game the next time.

Maybe then the leaders of the sport will remember where a huge chunk of its most passionate fans actually live.