Blog Entry

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:08 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:52 pm

There is growing support toward eliminating automatic qualifier status in the next evolution of college football’s postseason according to Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

The concept has been discussed informally among the game’s power brokers and would represent a fundamental shift in the way the sport’s postseason is administrated. Neinas supports the change because he said eliminating the so-called “AQ” status would slow or stop conference realignment.

“I think there is growing sentiment to eliminate the automatic qualification part of the BCS,” Neinas told this week. “You can see what’s happening. They [conferences] are gerrymandering all over the place under the intent to maintain an automatic qualification. History has shown you don’t need that if you are qualified.”

Removing AQ status would, in part, continue to benefit the power conferences who are currently bound by a two-team limit in the BCS. But it would also allow so-called non-AQs a more consistent, fair entry into the BCS. No changes would take effect until the 2014 season.

There are currently 10 slots among the five BCS bowls. One discussed configuration would allow the top 10 teams in the final BCS standings at the end of the season to play in BCS bowls no matter what conference affiliation. For example, if the Big Ten or SEC had three or more teams in the top 10, all those schools would get BCS bowls.

It’s not clear what the Rose Bowl’s stance is on the issue. It is known the Rose wants to keep its Pac-12-Big Ten game as often as possible. Eliminating AQ status may be the interim step between the BCS and a playoff. Various officials from four of the six BCS leagues have been in favor of at least a plus-one model at one time or another in the last three years.

The changes supported by Neinas wouldn’t occur until after the 2014 bowls when the current BCS deal expires with ESPN. Commissioners and ADs will discuss the changes as part of their next BCS meeting Monday in San Francisco.

“I imagine it will be one of many things they will be talking about," said Bill Hancock, BCS executive director. "It’s really premature to speculate about what the group might do."

The game’s administrators will have to have a new model going forward when ESPN reaches its exclusive negotiating window in October.

It’s not clear how much support there among commissioners. It would seem that at least the ACC and Big East would be against change. The ACC champion has finished out of the top 10 three of the last four seasons. Both leagues failed to have a team in the top 10 team at the end of last season.

It’s also not clear how money would be divided. Currently, 85 percent of the BCS bowl take is divided among the six power conferences. Last year approximately $200 million was made off the BCS bowls. If one of the six major conferences is not guaranteed a BCS bowl that could change the distribution model and potentially be a deal breaker.

Those six power conference champions – SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten – are guaranteed a BCS bowl. The champions of the five non-AQ leagues – MAC, WAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, Mountain West – are not. The best schools in those leagues must meet a set of benchmarks to get in.

Using the final 2010 standings as example going forward, the Big East (UConn, out of the BCS top 25) and ACC (Virginia Tech, No. 13) would not have had a BCS team because those conferences champions finished out of the top 10. The Big Ten would have had three teams – Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State.

In that configuration schools like Missouri (2007), Texas Tech (2008), Boise State (2008, 2010), Iowa (2009), Georgia Tech (2009) and Michigan State (2010) would have made BCS bowls simply by finishing in the top 10.

To date the Big Ten has played in the most BCS bowls, 23. The SEC is second with 21.

Neinas said he senses support for the change among his peers. The scramble for automatic qualification has affected three of the six BCS leagues just in the last couple of months. TCU and West Virginia joined the Big 12, in part fearing instability in the Big East. Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the ACC for the same reason. Meanwhile, the Big East is trying to reconstitute itself to be a BCS league going forward.

Commissioners will have to decide if the Big East even merits AQ status if the system remains the same. It currently has that status because of a waiver granted by BCS commissioners in 2008.

“You can make it on your merit without having to be in an automatic qualifying situation,” Neinas said. “That would solve some problems here with people just scrambling because they think they have to take in certain institutions. Let’s eliminate automatic qualification. If you merit it, you’re in …

“The point is, then you wouldn’t have this effort to cobble together a conference for the purpose of automatic qualification.”

Neinas also said he senses “strong sentiment” for conferences to remain with current membership until 2013. That would mean Syracuse and Pittsburgh would remain in the ACC, Missouri and Texas A&M would remain in the Big 12 and West Virginia and TCU would remain in the Big East.

The Big 12 is in a state flux with its television partners (ESPN, Fox) because it needs at least 10 members in 2012 for its payout not to be affected, Neinas said.

“We have to provide inventory to our TV partners and also we have some bowl partners,” he said. “Of course the major problem is scheduling.”

West Virginia has been sued by the Big East to fulfill its obligation to give 27 months notice before leaving the league. Big 12 sources are upset that Missouri intends to leave by July 1, 2012. Neinas remarked that it was “awful short notice” by the school.

Both Texas A&M and Missouri are still haggling with the Big 12 over exit fees owed to the conference. Those fees could range from $15 million-$30 million per school according to reports.

If both Missouri and West Virginia aren’t in the league in 2012, that would leave only nine members. With only nine members, each Big 12 team would have to find another non-conference game on short notice for 2012.

Asked if he expected Missouri to be in the league next year, Neinas said, “That would be nice, sure. Is that possible? I don’t know.”

He was then asked if there is any sentiment within the league for legal action against Missouri, Neinas said, “I don’t’ think I’ll comment on that.”


Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 9:53 am

B12 commish senses big change in BCS


I was just posting a few days ago how I wanted the BCS Bowls rotate which conferences they brought in from year to year. OU has been to the fiesta bowl a bunch. Big XII fans love the BCS bowl bids but would like to see something besides the Fiesta Bowl every year.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:52 am

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Neinas also said he senses “strong sentiment” for conferences to remain with current membership until 2013. That would mean Syracuse and Pittsburgh would remain in the ACC, Missouri and Texas A&M would remain in the Big 12 and West Virginia and TCU would remain in the Big East.
Actually, it would mean that Syracuse and Pitt would remain in the Big East since they have not moved to the ACC yet

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:48 am

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

The solution for the BCS is not to put lipstick on it; it's to shoot it until it stops twitching.  Obama promised to do something and didn't; maybe his successor will succeed.

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:29 am

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Number of BCS games won by current Big Least teams:  1  (Miami and W. Va no longer count)

Is there any wonder why they want to add Boise State?   Its a weak conference.  And if Boise starts going downhill, which it might once this year's senior class goes away, it'll get worse.  Does anyone really see a Big Least team winning the national championship??  Really?  I mean...San Diego State?  Houston??  Connecticutt??  Rutgers??  

Get serious.  The NCAA needs to get back in control.

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:34 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Removing the AQ status of all the conferences is going to cause more problems than it would solve. If you go to a top 10 seeding system, you might as well have an 8 team playoff. I think the simpler solution would be to keep the AQ status for all the conferences except the Big East. While the ACC has not bee strong lately, it is top to bottom far superior to the BE. With the 5 AQ conferences, add an additional qualifier - the highest ranked non-AQ team no matter where they are ranked. Also put Notre Dame in the non-AQ group, they don't deserve special treatment. Adding AQ status for the best of the rest conferences would eliminate the need for Boise State to be a BE team (or at least change the name of the conference).

Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:30 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Neinas also said he senses “strong sentiment” for conferences to remain with current membership until 2013. That would mean Syracuse and Pittsburgh would remain in the ACC, Missouri and Texas A&M would remain in the Big 12 and West Virginia and TCU would remain in the Big East.

 Didn't realize that 'Cuse and Pitt were currently in the ACC.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:12 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

The BE is better just beacause it is inviting Boise? Thats the worst argument ive ever heard! Houston is having a lucky year by going undefeated and 1 year makes them a conferece saving school? Really? BYU is ok but hardly someone to help save an AQ status. Ill give you Boise until they start to schedule more than 1 team per year when they do that is when they will become just another average C-USA team in the crowd. I hope the BE does well and starts to make the right moves....I know they could start by getting rid of the moron that is making all the mistakes of letting it all fall apart in the first place! I would hardly say the BE will be better off without WVU, Pitt, And Cuse cause thats just retarded.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:08 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

The BCS is not going away.  Add the Cotton Bowl to the BCS mix.  6 BCS (12 Teams) games.  Rotate BCS National Championship Game every 5 years (with addition of Cotton Bowl).  Pick Top 2 teams in BCS, for the National Championship Game, and Teams ranked 3-12, play in the regular BCS Games.  If you are in the top 12 (regardless of conference) you go to a BCS Game.  13 or lower, you don't go.  Since there will never be a playoff, this is the logical way to go.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:55 pm

Everyone is now scared of the Big East

Everyone thought the Big East was dead.  They would never have the guts to expand all the way to - wait for it - San Diego.  Not so fast.  The problem is the that the Big East now will be much stronger than it was.  Not on the level of the PAC, SEC, B10N or B12 - but certainly better than what it was and at least as good as the ACC.  Probably better.  Think about it:  Boise>WV; BYU>Pitt; Houston>Syracuse.  No one is scared of the Big East in terms of football.  But in terms of money, there goes a BCS birth and a good chunk of TV money to a conference everyone thought was dead.  You think the Big East is not forming an army of lawyers ready to pounce on the BCS when they can show the 'New Big East' is actually better than it was?  Not to mention the Big East survival really really hurts the Big 12 and the ACC.  This is why the powers that be are in a panic and want this all to end.  I hate this re-allignment stuff more than anyone, but once again, the Big East may come out stronger (but not better).

Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:56 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Just get rid of the BCS. Problem solved. This guy just wants money for the Little 12. He thinks the Big 12 will have at least 2 teams in the top 10 every year. Not going to happen. I can see OU almost every year and another team or 2 every year. Hopefully OSU can keep it up but i do not see the Big 12 competing with many of their other teams.

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