The possibility of a nationally significant college football game taking place on Big Ten soil has been dealt a significant blow, at least in the short term.
The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday afternoon that it's "highly unlikely" Indianapolis will bid on the future national title game, at least initially. Lucas Oil Stadium had been viewed as a strong candidate to be part of the rotation to host college football's national title game beginning in the 2014 season.
Indiana Sports Corporation president Susan Williams told reporters Wednesday that the group's plate is full in the coming years, as it will bid to host a U.S. Olympic trials event in 2016 as well as the 2018 Super Bowl. The Big Ten football championship game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium through 2015, and possibly longer.
"Therefore, just for purposes of the press, and to tie a ribbon around this topic, it is highly unlikely that Indianapolis will pursue the BCS national championship in the near future,’’ said Williams, who leaves her post later this year. "And I underline, near future."
While Indy could be in the mix down the road, this is disappointing news for Big Ten fans hoping to have the national title game closer to home. Officials from Detroit's Ford Field and St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome told ESPN.com in April that their groups would be interested in bidding for college football playoff games, but Indianapolis undoubtedly has the strongest track record and can make the most impressive bids for these types of events.
Chicago's Soldier Field also is an option, but it brings logistical concerns as an outdoor venue in a cold-weather city, and it hasn't hosted many major national sporting events in recent years.
With campus-sites proposal for the playoff dead and Indy expressing reservations, the future looks a lot like the present -- Big Ten teams and their fans will travel a long way for the most important games.