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The Playoff's Bill Hancock said the Playoff wouldn't move off New Year's Eve, so it did

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Bill Hancock, former BCS spokesperson and anti-Playoff crusader, is now the Playoff's spokesperson.

His official title has long been "executive director" of whichever enterprise he's fronting, but his contributions to public life have been (1.) sunny explanations of why things people want to happen cannot happen, followed by (2.) explanations of why those things just happened anyway.

The latest: after a TV ratings debacle, the Playoff will no longer schedule games on New Year's Eve, starting after this season, unless it's a federal-holiday Friday or Saturday. This comes despite Hancock insisting up until this calendar year that it would not budge.

Everyone agrees he's a nice man in person, and one of his clear priorities all along was to make sure the bowl system remained part of whichever postseason the sport settled on. Which is fine, I guess. That essentially meant lobbying for weird concessions to The Precious Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio's Secret Honor Guard Of Majestic Valor (membership: Jim Delany and a Mickey Mouse parade float), but OK.

The point is, when the closest thing college football has to a figurehead commissioner points one way, start heading the other direction.

There are now three primary types of Bill Hancock Uncertain Certainties. Each has developed numerous shades and subgenres over the years, and you could argue he's changed course on the minutia as well.

1. Would a Playoff ruin the regular season?

December 2010, in a USA Today article that everyone hated

College football has the best regular season of any sport, and the lack of a playoff is one big reason why.

April 2013

2. Would a Playoff wreck everything else, too?

In a November 2010 radio interview

We believe a playoff would diminish the regular season and end the Bowl system, certainly as we know it.

April 2013

3. Will the Playoff ever move off of New Year's Eve?

January 2015, a year before the ratings disaster

The fact is that we have started a new tradition of back-to-back tripleheaders on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We're not interested in changing for one year, then returning for the next 10. This event has been very well received and we are excited about the future and about enhancing the concept of a 'holiday within a holiday' on New Year's Eve and New year's Day.

January 2016, after the bad thing happened, in an interview with FOX Sports

Among the quotes cited in the article, including Hancock being quoted as saying the Playoff is "absolutely locked" into New Year's Eve.

The contract is in place for 12 years. We have not talked at all about making any changes. [...]

We all need to be careful, step back and remember that one year does not make a trend. [...]

It may turn out by the time we get to Year 5, and we've had competitive games, that we say, 'You know what, it's not working.' But it's important not to jump to conclusions after one year of admittedly disappointing ratings.

July 2016, in a College Football Playoff release

Hancock:

We tried to do something special with New Year's Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.  These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.

4. Next up: will the Playoff expand beyond four teams before 2027?

That's the first season after the Playoff's current ESPN contract runs out. Hancock's repeatedly said it won't expand before then. We'll see!

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