The College Football Playoff is set to announce the cities under consideration for the 2018-20 title games (following the 2017-19 seasons) on Wednesday evening. But Brett McMurphy, forever the fly on the bowl industry's walls, tweeted out the list a few hours ahead of the announcement.
And those cities are:
Now, which of three of those nine cities will be chosen to host the title games? That won't be announced for some time, but we can make some educated guesses here.
Those in the know claim Atlanta and its new stadium are all but signed, sealed and delivered to host the 2018 title game, following semifinals in the Rose and Sugar bowls.
The Cotton and Orange bowls will host semifinals in advance of the 2019 title games, so we can cross Miami off the list for that championship game. Charlotte also feels unlikely considering Atlanta's likely status as host of the previous year's game. It's also unlikely the Playoff will hold two of its three games in Texas in the same year, so Houston and San Antonio are also likely out. That leaves Minneapolis, Detroit, New Orleans and Santa Clara. Big Ten country is a lock to host one of the two games - lest Jim Delany hold the entire Board of Managers hostage - so let's go with Minneapolis and its own new, Noah's Ark-like stadium.
Finally, the 2020 title game will be preceded by the Peach and Fiesta bowls, leaving all seven of the remaining contenders still in play. Except for Detroit because, come on, the Playoff isn't going north twice. But with the semifinals taking place on opposite ends of the country, it feels unlikely the Playoff would touch either coast again in the same year. This eliminates Miami, Charlotte and Santa Clara. This leaves a great stadium in a bad walking city (Houston), a decent stadium in a good walking city (San Antonio) and a bad stadium in a great walking city (New Orleans).
Let's split the difference and go with San Antonio.
So, there you have it.
2018: Pasadena/New Orleans semis, Atlanta title game
2019: Dallas/Miami semis, Minneapolis title game
2020: Phoenix/Atlanta semis, San Antonio title game
Don't everyone book your hotel rooms at once.
Updated: 6:10 ET
The playoff has officially announced the cities under consideration.
Let's swap our Minneapolis and San Antonio predicts and mark it good.