For 97 percent of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby's Thursday interview with the San Antonio Express-News, things proceed as normal: the Big 12 is in a stable, strong position, they're happy with the new playoff, they're ecstatic to have TCU and West Virginia, they're happy to be at 10 and avoiding the hassle of a conference championship game.*
And then in that final 3 percent, Bowlsby drops this little nugget, emphasis added:
We're going to capture back New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. College football will be preeminent on those two days with six great football games. I'm very excited about what has happened with the BCS, which will be probably known as the national championship series going forward.
This thing already has a name? And after all the hatred and scorn heaped upon the old BCS, that name is going to borrow not just two of its three initials, but two of three identical words? Even when it's not so much a "series" as just, you know, a four-team playoff with some quality bowls cleverly scheduled around it?
For all of those reasons -- and that we somehow doubt the news of something like this will quietly leak out in the very last sentence of an interview with one random league commissioner rather than be announced via a press conference featuring trapeze swingers, clowns, and dancing elephants -- we remain skeptical that the "NCS" will stand as the final moniker for the playoff.
But this is nonetheless the commissioner of one of the nation's four most powerful leagues telling us the BCS's replacement "probably" has a name. Our ears are certainly pricked up --and given that simply switching that "B" out for an "N" would be the simplest, easiest option when coming up with a name, there's a good chance that this is the name that sticks after all.
*As we wrote when Bowlsby predecessor Dan Beebe said the same thing: Oh please. Staying at 10 is good because that's two fewer mouths to share revenues with and there's no convenient expansion candidates. But conference title games have proven too lucrative to just brush aside under "they might hurt our national title prospects!" hypotheticals.
HT: The Upset.