Blog Entry

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:00 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 8:47 pm

DALLAS – There are still a myriad of things to determine how the Bowl Championship Series’ postseason format ultimately will look like in 2014, but one topic seems apparent: college football’s playoff will not be larger than four teams.

“I would say obviously eight or 16 team (playoff formats) are not on the radar screen,” said a person attending the four-hour plus BCS meetings Tuesday at the Dallas-Fort Worth Grand Hyatt Hotel.

On Tuesday, the 11 conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, two BCS officials and a BCS attorney met to discuss what form college football’s postseason will look like beginning in 2014.

While sources at the meeting said a four-team plus-one format looks likely when the new BCS format starts in two years, BCS executive director Bill Hancock stressed the meetings were “very broad and analytical” and that no decisions were reached.

The group will meet Wednesday then again in Dallas next month and in Fort Lauderdale in April. However, Hancock says he would be surprised if a decision is reached before summer.

“I don’t think this will be an overnight decision,” Hancock said.

Added SEC commissioner Mike Slive: “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Maybe so, but when they’re done running there likely will be a four-team playoff.

Now comes the intriguing part: how will the plus-one model look like?

Will it be a seeded model (one vs. four, two vs. three); where will the semifinals be played; and how - or will - the bowl games be utilized? Will the bowl games host the semifinals and final or will the plus-one semifinals and final be awarded to the highest bidder – i.e. the Cotton Bowl or another current non-BCS bowl?

Even with a four-team format some of problems are "insurmountable" according to source in attendance Tuesday. Hancock and others spoke of not wanting to hold BCS games during the December exam period, usually between Dec. 1-21. While FCS (Division I-AA), Division II and III stage playoffs in December, FBS (Division I-A) would be doing it for the first time. The scrutiny would be enhanced on presidents at the highest level of college athletics if football cut into that exam time.

Besides wanting to avoid BCS games during the exam schedule, they also want to avoid playing BCS games around Christmas. Another challenge, Hancock said, is scheduling games around the NFL.

Presidents also want the season to end before the second week of January and closer to Jan. 1. Ohio State has flown back from a BCS championship game site immediately after the game at least once because school had started back home.

Last season's BCS title game between Alabama and LSU was played on Jan. 9 and resulted in the lowest TV ratings in BCS title game history.

Based on those preferred timelines (no exams, no Christmas and no NFL conflicts), the most likely time for a plus-one would be holding the semifinals a few days after Christmas and the final about a week later.

Any changes to the BCS format, which expires after the 2013 regular season, must be approved by the NCAA’s Presidential Oversight Committee, which must decide whether to approve the recommendation of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners and Swarbrick.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, NCAA, plus-one

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:26 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

It's all a very nice change and a step in the right direction. On the down side this takes away from meaning of regular season somewhat as teams have more margin for error. It it were up to me, I'd have 2 thru 5 play for a shot at regular season number 1. That would be a total of 4 games and 4 major bowls with regular season still meaning something, but hey at least it's something.

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:24 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

It's better to have the #5 team whining than the #3 team.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:50 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

So instead of the #3 team whining about not making the championship game, we'll have the #5 team whining about not making the semi-finals.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:47 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

An extra game, resulting in a 4 team playoff, is a big step to deciding things on the field.  We waited several years for a championship game, and finally got one. Now to hear we could have this extra game, and finally some kind of tournament situation is awesome. College football fans should be happy things are moving forward, although slow, this does show progress.  This would be a huge step to a bigger goal of a 8 or 16 team playoff format, so we should enjoy this idea.

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:43 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

A four team BCS format probably makes too much sense to actually happen.The system in place now is totally idiotic. It makes all of the bowl games except the BCS Championship Game essentially meaningless.Matching up #1 vs. 4 & #2 vs. #3 in two semifinal games & playing the semi's in regular rotating bowl games would generate huge TV ratings & massive interest in two otherwise dull bowl games every year.It would also come much closer to giving us a "true" national champion than the system that exists now. An eight team playoff would be even better, but that's not going to happen any time soon.Even a four team system will have to overcome huge institutional opposition based purely on greed. Every college football fan in the country should view such opposition as a personal insult.The most comical statements coming from school officials opposing any type of playoff is their "grave concern" about football players missing even one day of class time at the very beginning of a semester. Everybody who's ever been to college knows that part of the school year is more "Party Time" than anything else. No tests are taken & no papers are due until much later in the semester-at about the time the NCAA basketball tournament is being played. Players on basketball teams that reach the Final Four have to miss the bulk of A FULL MONTH OF SCHOOL to play in all those games. Where's the vast outcry over that?

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:29 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

I'll believe it when I see it, I can see a bunch of College Teams now calling unfair because 2 colleges will get twice the pay day of the others.  It's all about money and trying to keep traditions alive in College Football in terms of conferences and teams over the years.  How many times does a girl tease a date before they just call BS ... isn't this like the 5th time this came up.

Low ratings means nothing to college sports ... as long as ESPN, ABC, CBS and NBC pay the schools and require little to nothing, your not going to get results from fan "suggestions", you tell the networks they demand a playoff system of the money gets pulled, that's how you get results done, go to the source of the funds

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:19 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

I dislike the BCS as much as anyone, but you have to remember how bad it was before the BCS. Bowls had conference tie ins and you almost never saw one versus two.  So as bad as The BCS was it was a step in the right direction.  The plus one should work fine until somebody decides they want more money 

Since: Dec 30, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:14 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

The reason the Last National Title game had the lowest ratings was because it was on cable TV (ESPN).

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:51 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

This is exactly where the BCS is heading the formula needs a tweak and reallignment is it.Look at the moves the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, and Pac 12 have made, this is no mistake and the conference championship games will make it an 8 team playoff and the quality of competition make these the right 8 teams.  The ACC will be the next conference harvested for quality parts as each of these conferences make sure they have 12 teams and quality counts.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:41 pm

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

whoever invented and or approved of the system we have now should be executed

Agreed. I believe that was Roy Kramer, former commish of the SEC. As of today he hasn't been executed.

Even he now believes the system should be changed.

I hope it is a seeded playoff. I don't want this to be a beauty contest between 2 vrs 3 after the major bowls. The discussion should be 4 vrs 5 when seeding. Not the optimum result, but certainly a start in the right direction.

I would prefer the semis be on campus sites, but as a previous article pointed out, it is probably the least lucrative of options. The most lucrative will be the sites bidding for the semis and finals, so that is the most likely option.

For those who want 8, 12, or 16 team playoffs, just be patient. This is the start of the so called slippery slope. They've (the commissioners) already shown that money is the bottom line and if ratings start to dip, they'll adjust to where the money is, student-athletes be damned. If you go to a 8, 12, or 16 team play off, eventually the campus sites of the higher seeds will have to be utilized for the first round or two.

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