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Bill Hancock, ladies and gentlemen

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College football's quintessential company man lands on his feet

Andy Lyons

Here's then-BCS executive director Bill Hancock in 2010, not long after he responded to mounting pressure on the Series by overseeing the launch of a pro-BCS website called, explaining for the umpteenth time why there will never be a playoff in college football:

"A playoff is not going to happen," he said. "The college presidents, the coaches, the ADs should run college football. And they do. The presidents don't want it. The coaches don't want it. The players have said they'd rather go to three bowls than one playoff. That's the three groups that manage this. None of them want it."

So everyone who matters is opposed to a playoff, writing that down. Okay then.

And here's Bill Hancock shortly after that interview, outlining in an op-ed for USA Today precisely why the BCS works where a playoff would obviously fail:

Why not a playoff?

Sure, I understand that many football fans want an NFL-style playoff instead. I know that they want to fill out a bracket, and that they want to watch more college football in December. They want their favorite team to have a slot in that bracket. But the desire for a different postseason format doesn't justify the false attacks against the BCS event. And as the person who used to manage the NCAA Final Four, I know that what works for one sport doesn't work so easily for a different sport.

College football has the best regular season of any sport, and the lack of a playoff is one big reason why. Millions of football fans this year tuned in to watch the season-opening game between Boise State and Virginia Tech because there was so much on the line —starting early in September. If there were a playoff, the Alabama-Auburn game wouldn't have been as important nationally, or as dramatic.

Alright, so BCS = Protecting the essence of the sport, Playoff = Shortsighted blow to the popularity of the regular season. Gotcha.

And here's Bill Hancock on Wednesday morning, in a press release announcing him as the first executive director of the new college football playoff on its way in 2014:

"It is a thrill to be part of this group and to work with college football's leaders as the new playoff system is launched," Hancock said. "We all share a passion about this wonderful sport, and I'm excited to have the chance to help make such a popular sport event more popular for our fans."

Ah, the fans. Well, I suppose you have to respect a man who never forgets who signs the checks.