ESPN registered collegefootballplayoff.com at some point since 2003

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say college football's playoff has been on someone's radar for a while.

The college football playoff has a name now: College Football Playoff. Naturally, our curious eyes turned to collegefootballplayoff.com. As there's nothing there, naturally we wondered who owned it. However, it's already been registered for 10 years now, naturally.

Update: After additional consultation, which we should've done before publication, it's clear there's no easy way to tell exactly how long it's been listed under ESPN's name. It appears ESPN was not the original registrant in 2003. What we know for certain is that ESPN currently runs a website with the same name as the new College Football Playoff, it has done so since before its announcement, and the domain appears to have been abandoned in 2003 by whoever registered it. We apologize for the confusion.

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Via WhoIs.

ESPN's paying $5.6 billion for 12 years worth of broadcast rights for the College Football Playoff.

And what was going on in college football on October 28, 2003 that could've inspired such a purchase? Florida State had just surged into the BCS top 3 behind Oklahoma and Miami after a Virginia Tech loss to West Virginia, with USC about to take over for the Canes, who'd lose to those same Hokies. So of course the time was right to strike.

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