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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: Jan 10, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:05 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

Tiger Jon - You raised a great question.  If it is confined to conference champions, then who would have been the four teams this year?  What if it were eight teams?  I'm with you on this one.  Clemson or West Virginia in and Alabama out?  How would that be antyhing close to resembling a credible crowning of a national champion.  Whatever the new model, it should be the best teams period.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:45 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

Four is fine.  But it had better stop there.  Nobody ranked 5th or worse has a right to think they deserve a chance to be the national champion.  As for the basketball fans that talk about their 68 team bracket - 64 of the teams in that tournament have no shot at winning it all.  They're just in there to dance.  This year its Kentucky, Syracuse and maybe North Carolina and Ohio State (if they get their acts together).  Thats it.  Anybody else winning it would be a farce.  Nobody else can honestly say they're the best team in the land.  THAT is what playoffs should be about.  Not some cinderfella that bumbled through the regular season and got lucky at the end.

Since: Jul 24, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:35 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

You can't confine it to conference champions. That's just crazy. If there had been any kind of playoff this year, whether it was just 4 or 8 or whatever, it would have been insane to leave out the Bammer Gumps in favor of who...Clemson? West Virginia? Whoever won the MAC, WAC or SWAC? In 2006, it would have been a sham to leave out Michigan. As many have said: you'll never eliminate the controversy...if you go to 8 teams, #9 will have a gripe. But whatever it is; I want the best teams, regardless of conference.

What everyone on here seems to ignore is that major college football just does not lend itself to a big playoff system. You can't compare it to basketball. They can play basketball 4 nights in a row at times without risking major injury. Obviously, you can't cram a bunch of games together like that for football. You can't compare it to the NFL: those guys are professionals; that's all they do. College students actually have to go to class and pass their tests. You can joke all you want about the dumb jocks and the basket-weaving courses they load up on; but many of them are damned good students and all of them have to complete a certain level of course work to stay eligible. Yes, even in the SEC.

 And you can't compare it to the lower divisions of college football like everyone seems to like to do. The level of competition; the wear and tear on the bodies involved; really isn't close. The size of the entourage and the amount of equipment and crap you have to mobilize and get to a remote location is completely different. Do you think there are logistical differences between setting up a game in Valdosta for 8,000 fans and no TV versus setting up the Swamp in Gainesville for 95,000 fans and say Texas coming to town...on a week's notice?  I'm not sure how the student athletes at the smaller schools involved are able to negotiate playing extra games right in the middle of final exams in December. Maybe they get waivers from their schools/conferences. Or maybe it just doesn't take as much effort to get ready to play Montana State as it does to get ready to play, say Oregon. If the starting left guard from one of the BCS conference schools farts too loudly; it's all over the news and these message boards within hours. Can anyone even tell who the starting QB is at Wofford? Maybe no one notices when the entire team flunks at McNeese State.

The NCAA likes to pass more rules every year trying to make it more difficult for athletes to skate through school without getting a real education. You can't have it both ways. A true playoff might make s
ome of us college football geeks happy (if our team wins) if we think it gives us a "legitimate champion." But it will inevitably have an adverse effect on the "student" part of the athletes we root for; not to mention the additional damage to their bodies. I'm sure most of you could care less about the young men involved on a personal level. I, for one, do. And the guys making these decisions know these kids and their families too. So quit scoffing at every mention of the extra burden this would put on the teams and the kids. Unless they want to shave the regular season way down; a real "playoff" system just does not work for major college football.

Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:30 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

The NYG did not get crowned as the best team.

they won the super bowl and I know that is the goal.

But they were not the best team in the NFL this year.

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:27 am

Human element means this is not enough...

This is not good enough, in my opinion.  I think eight is the minimum number that will actually work.  There are simply too many good teams today, and regardless of efforts otherwise, the people who choose which teams will participate are the ones who will screw it up.  Four leaves no margin for error, and there will be plenty of error, I can assure you of that. 

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:22 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

Once you start down the path, it's hard to stop it...after a couple of years with the +1 model, there will be a #5 team crying about how they missed it (probably by beating one or more of the teams in the top 4) then pressure will be applied to go to 8 teams.  I have always felt a 16 team playoff would work best with all conference champs (Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac 12, SEC, ACC, Sun Belt, MAC, Conf USA, WAC, MWC then use at-large teams to make up the 16 teams) and either use the bowls as sites or use the DI-AA model of higher seed hosts the game until the Football Final Four, which could be held at bowl sites as well.  This should eliminate some of these worthless bowl games and make the regular season (and winning the conference title) worth a shot at a NC instead of going to the _____ bowl. 

Since: Feb 22, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:06 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:49 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

I don't see what the problem is. There are 4 majour bowls. Take the 4 winners and do a plus 2. Then everyone is happy. The plus 1 leaves as many problems as it solves, including it being really really hard for a non AQ school to male the top 4. But of it's to be a plus one... then 2 New years day bowls have to be semi-finals... I'm still not sure what the problem is, as long as one non AQ school gets in every year.

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:49 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

This whole thing seems pretty simple to me.  Play the semi-finals on New Year's Day in the traditional bowls.  Leaving out the Rose Bowl (becasue they want a Big-10/Pac-12 game), you rotate the semi's between the Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange Bowls.  If the Rose Bowl wants in on the rotation, that's fine too.  But either way it's time to elevate the Cotton Bowl to BCS status.

Next, you put a stop to the meaningless bowls after New Year's Day and you have a week long build-up to the National Championship game.  The problem with the poor ratings for the LSU/Bama game wasn't because it was on January 9, it was a combination of saturation from having too many bowl games and the fact that the game was a re-run of their regular season meeting.

And finally, stop worrying about going head-to-head with the NFL.  Let the TV executives figure out how to schedule the games.  They're pretty smart and I'm betting that they can figure out how to squeeze one game into the schedule.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:47 am

BCS plus-one format gains momentum

Works for me - gives the SEC more opportunities because two teams will almost always wind up in the top four as long as Bama & LSU are around.

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