Steven M. Sipple: Jamrog helps Rose Bowl look toward bustling 2014-15

2013-05-29T23:40:00Z Steven M. Sipple: Jamrog helps Rose Bowl look toward bustling 2014-15 JournalStar.com

The forthcoming College Football Playoff should be a grand event for essentially everyone involved -- unless perhaps you happen to be in charge of logistics for a participating team.

Step into Jeff Jamrog's world for a moment.

Jamrog, Nebraska's associate athletic director for football operations since 2008, recently was part of an advisory committee that met with Rose Bowl officials in Pasadena, Calif.

The Rose Bowl folks are getting their ducks in order well ahead of time. It makes sense, considering what's ahead: The 100th edition of the Rose Bowl is set for Jan. 1, 2014. Five days later, the Rose Bowl will play host to the final BCS national title game. Good riddance, BCS, is the prevailing sentiment. Say what you will, history will transpire that night.

If all that weren't enough, the Rose Bowl is the site of one of two semifinals for the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014-15. The Rose and Sugar bowls will play host to semis on Jan. 1, 2015. The championship game will be played Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas.

Sounds simple enough. But there are complications. Pretty serious complications.

Let's say, for the fun of it, Nebraska lands a spot in the first four-team playoff. The semifinal game is on a Thursday. The team would fly back to Lincoln the next day, Jan. 2. This is where it would get hectic for the Husker staff.

The College Football Playoff folks want the finalists to arrive at the championship game site Jan. 7, which in 2015 is a Wednesday -- typically a crucial full-pad practice day for teams. I can imagine Nick Saban's veins popping at the news. Same goes for Bo Pelini. Head coaches cling to routine. So, Jamrog said, the advisory committee is pushing for a Jan. 8 arrival in  Arlington.

"It's not set in stone, getting there on the seventh," Jamrog said. "But regardless, the bottom line is, it's a pretty fast turnaround after you've been out in California."

Consider 2018, when the title game is set for Jan. 8   -- only seven days after the semifinals. Would a team travel directly from the semifinal to the championship game site, without returning to campus? Or would it first stop at campus and practice a couple of days? Yeah, hectic. Much more so than usual.

If you're in a role such as Jamrog's, you probably would have to round up a private jet that would be waiting for the coaches immediately after the semifinal. It would be imperative for the staff to return to its home base as quickly as possible to prepare for the championship game.

That's just one logistic to consider.

"People talk about the (NCAA) Final Four and trying to plan ahead," Jamrog said. "But with football, you're talking about such a huge travel party."

Do fans ever consider the student-athletes' schedules in these discussions? I think we know the answer to that. But it's Jamrog's job to think about the players and, yes, their school obligations.

"In all these years coming up, the national championship game will be played on the first day of the second semester (at NU)," he said, meaning the players would miss the first two days of classes.

No problem, right? Wrong.

"It's certainly not ideal," Jamrog said. "Teachers have to be notified because some of them will drop you if you're not there the first day."

Holy Moses, would Jamrog love to have such issues to solve. I'm guessing most fans would welcome the inconveniences if it meant playing for all the marbles. Am I right?

Jamrog clearly is a fan of the Rose Bowl officials, portraying them as diligent, organized and conscientious. The Rose Bowl didn't bring out the advisory committee -- which included representatives from every major conference -- for a social event. Work was accomplished, Jamrog said.

"What's so neat about this (advisory) group is you have all these people who are on the ground level of football, who understand head coaches, understand student-athletes and the wants and needs of bowl games," Jamrog said. "Rose Bowl officials take note of it. They record every meeting. And then they act on it. It makes it nice if you do go to that bowl game."

What a perfect time it would be this season, with the pomp that will accompany the granddaddy's 100th go-round. So much history to celebrate. And next season, so much history to make.

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.

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About the writer

Steven M. Sipple | Lincoln Journal Star

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.


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