“I’m sure it won’t satisfy everyone,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. “Until you have an eight-team or 16-team seeded playoff, there will be folks out there that aren’t completely satisfied. We get that. But we’re trying to balance other important parties, like the value of the regular season, the bowls, the academic calendar.”
The commissioners refrained from providing many specifics of the plan in their announcement.
Scott did say the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls and the site of the national championship game will be bid out to any city that wants it, the way the NFL does with the Super Bowl.
People with firsthand knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that the semifinals of the proposed plan would rotate among the major bowls and not be tied to traditional conference relationships.
They also said that under the plan a selection committee would choose the schools that play for the national title.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the commissioners did not want to reveal many details before talking to their bosses.
“I am delighted,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, whose push for a four-team playoff in 2008 was shot down. “I am pleased with the progress we have made. There are some differences, but we will work them out. We’re trying to do what is in the best interest of the game.”
It will certainly be in the best financial interest.
The BCS television contract with ESPN _ along with the Rose Bowl’s separate contract with ABC _ pays the participating schools $155 million per year. BCS officials won’t put an exact number on it, but they aren’t shy about saying that a playoff would be worth much more. Probably more than double.
How that money will be split up among the conferences is still to be determined, and will likely be a point of contention with high-profile and high revenue generating leagues such as the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast Conference getting more than the likes of the Mountain West and Conference USA. The rebuilt Big East could be looking at being bumped to second-tier status.
But before they split up the pot, there were other details that needed to be sorted out.
There was some debate about whether to have semifinal sites rotate between the current BCS bowls _ the Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta _ or link the sites of the games to traditional conference affiliations. By linking sites to leagues Southeastern Conference teams could host games at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and Pac-12 and Big Ten teams could host games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
But the logistical issues that come with not having the sites for the semifinals set in advance were too big a problem. Now it will be possible for Ohio State and Oregon to play a semifinal in Miami, the site of the Orange Bowl.
How the teams will be selected also has been hotly debated; the current Bowl Championship Series uses a combination of polls and computer rankings.
There are still major details to be worked out, such as who exactly makes up the selection committee, but college football will take a page from college basketball, which uses a committee of athletic directors and commissioners to pick the teams for its championship tournament.View Entire Story
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