HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (AP) - Before they leave the beach, the guys who run the Bowl Championship Series want to narrow the postseason options to a few detailed plans.
The 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, along with one AD from each league, met Wednesday for about eight hours to discuss overhauling the way a champion is determined in college football, and possibly implementing a four-team playoff. It is the fourth such get together this year, and after it was over all agreed the time has come to start making some choices.
“I think that’s what everyone wants to do. Get down to two, maybe three,” BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “I think we’re making good progress on that. I think we’re going to make it.”
One thing is clear: “The status quo is off the table,” Hancock said. Though he cautiously added they have not ruled out making over the current system that guarantees only a No. 1 vs. No. 2 championship game.
But all signs point toward that being unlikely, and that by the 2014 season the BCS as fans have known it will be gone.
“I would say there is an expectation that there will be significant change,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.
Delany and his fellow commissioners arrived in South Florida with four options to discuss, but much of the focus has been on a four-team playoff with two national semifinals and a title game.
That model comes with many variables, such as where the games will be played, how the teams will be picked and how the bowls fit in _ if they do at all. The role of the bowls represents a potential obstacle. Specifically, the Rose Bowl.
On Tuesday, bowl executives from the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Rose met with the conference commissioners to give their input and answer some questions about how their games could work in a new postseason system.
An option being discussed could force those traditional bowls to give up holding their games the years they host a semifinal or championship matchup. That could mean a year without a Rose Bowl, which has been played every year since 1916 _ most of those games matching the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12.
“We feel like we have something very special and unique in college football,” Rose Bowl spokeswoman Gina Chappin said. “We went into the room with the intention of reaffirming what we are.”
The Big Ten and Pac-12 don’t just play in the Rose Bowl, they’re partners with the game. Delany and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott have made it clear that protecting that lucrative partnership is a priority.
“I just want to make sure that the changes that we make are evolutionary,” Delany said. “That they support the regular season. That they’re from a Rose Bowl perspective, that they sustain that tradition. That we’re also able to produce something that the public appreciates and supports.
“You want to control change. You want to have evolution, not revolution because you don’t know that the unintended consequences will be.”