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: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:25 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Big12 should consider adding Boise St....

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:16 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Finally someone with some sense. Imagine that. Getting into a BCS bowl becuase of your merit as a football team instead of your reputation and what conference you're in. Wow. Now all we need is for some other genius to come along and say, "Hey, why dont we just let the top 16 teams play in a 16-team playoff at the end of the year?"

Change is happening. Slowly.... one realization of equality at a time...

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:05 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Reading between the lines....what this is basically saying is that the Big East Champion will no longer be invited to play in a BCS Bowl.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

If the season ended today, and Boise State were in the Big East, then they would be in a BCS bowl.  The Big 10 would have NO teams in a BCS bowl.

Last year, the ACC (as well as the Big East) would not have had any teams in BCS bowls.

This wouldn't just affect the Big East.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:04 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Pickett Fence I think you are missing the point here.  What Neinas is saying is that the BCS should get rid of the automatic qualifyer for conferences and if the team based on merit is deserving of a BCS spot then they should get int.  This would be based off the top 10 in the BCS standings, so whoever is in the top 10 would the BCS spot and that does not mean the Big East gets left out in the cold or does it make their efforts wasted.  You have the Big East credit they are trying to reinvent themselves after they basically lost four teams.  I think the model that they are going after would make the football conference stronger than it ever was.  The acadamies are a strong draw and always have been.  BYU and BSU have been solid on the field and both been nationally ranked with BSU around the top 10.  San Diego State Also draws well to they are the leaders in the MWC for attendance.  Also don't forget about Houston who has been a solid program going back to the old Southwest conference.  With that said I like what the Big East is doing and I think they be okay so they should be able to get one of their teams in the BCS.  Oh by the way yes it possible for an SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12 champ to get left out and by that if they arre not in the Top 10 in the BCS than they can get left out.  I don't see that happening but it can.  I think it sould be based of quality of schedule and how the quality of perforance of the team that earns a team in the top 10 of the BCS.  I know if Alamaba would have won the SEC they would not belong in the BCS because their non conferrence schedule is crap.  They don't play nobody.  FCS teams is that is what we call a strong non conference schedule I think not.  So the bid should go to the top 10 in the bcs which shold be teams that go up aganist the best competion with the most quality wins.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:03 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

It would make for the best bowl games if we forgot about conferences and #1 played #2 in the national championship game and the 4 BCS games rotated between #3 vs #4, #5 vs #6, #7 vs #8 and #9 vs #10.

But as stated before me, that doesn't give the rose bowl a choice to have the B10 or P12 champ, the fiesta to get the B12 champ, the orange to get the ACC champ...etc.  So i can't imagine this would ever happen.

it would also give more seperation between what the article calls the "power conferences"...i could see the SEC, P12 and B10 dominating these games in the next 10-15 years if this were to happen.  The BE and ACC would be the big losers for sure, the B12?...i think TX and OK would be okay, but the other teams would suffer.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:47 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Pickett, I guess you missed a few teams because guess what? The Big Ten wouldn't be in the BCS this year under the rules. Their highest team is Penn State at #12. The SEC and the MWC would have represented half the BCS until this past week.

Also, the ACC doesn't usually have a team this high. Clemson and VaTech are just barely hanging on.

This won't happen, though, because it would mean there is a chance the Rose gets 0 Big Ten and 0 Pac-12 teams. Under the current system, they have the opportunity to pick up Big Ten and Pac-12 at larges if both were to make the championship game... which thankfully won't be happening any time soon. OSU ruined it for the Big Ten after 06 and 07.

Since: May 22, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:46 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Get rid of the BCS sanctioned bowls altogether!, then there will be no need for AQ's. Play all the bowl games and afterwords, the BCS rankings can determine a plus one National Championship Game. College Football does not need an end of season tournament.This is College!!! Not the Pros.

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:24 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

What this essentially says is that the automatic bid, instead of being in writing, will become a "wink-nod" deal.  Can you ever imagine the BCS not inviting the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 or Pac 12 Champion?  Of course not!  Can you imagine the BCS Bowls without the Big East Champion?  Absolutely.

Reading between the lines....what this is basically saying is that the Big East Champion will no longer be invited to play in a BCS Bowl.  This is essentially the same thing as the Big East losing their AQ status, which means that their rediculous efforts to invite military academies and create a "western division" is all for naught.

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:21 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Eliminating AQ status =  GREAT IDEA!!!!!

TOP 10 get in the BCS bowls.

1 vs. 2
3 vs. 4
5 vs. 6
7 vs. 8
9 vs. 10

Though a 16 playoff would be better.

Since: Jul 25, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:08 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

If Chuck Neinas had been the commissioner from the inception of the Big 12 Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M would still be in the conference. It's nice to see someone in charge of the 'ol BIG 8/12 who can look beond the borders of Texas...

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