Blog Entry

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:10 pm

DALLAS – The bullet points posted for BCS commissioners in a Grand Hyatt conference room Wednesday aren’t anything you haven’t seen or read before.

When considering reshaping college football’s postseason, the commissioners were reminded they must …

Improve the game of college football … enhance the experience for the student-athlete … Make it acceptable to the public.

Those are some of the playing rules. Those BCS commissioners left their latest meeting here having moved the ball only a few yards in what amounts to only a postseason scrimmage at this point. While they seem to have settled on no more than a four-team postseason model beginning in 2014, some of the issues are becoming clearer.

Revenue: learned Wednesday that early projections are that a plus-one could be worth as much as double compared to the current BCS. That would be approximately $360 million based on 2011 distribution of $180 million.

But that’s without knowing if games would be played on campus, in the bowls or bid out to cities like the Super Bowl. The general assumption is that the money would be huge. I reported earlier in the week that a seeded, four-team plus-one could be worth $250 million-$500 million per year.

Access points: The idea of only conference winners being eligible is still on the table, mostly because it hasn’t been discussed to any broad degree. The idea has the interest of at least one commissioner.

In 10 of the 14 years the BCS has been in existence, at least one team that did not earn its conference’s BCS automatic berth ended ranked in the top four. If only conference winners were allowed in a plus-one in 2011, No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Stanford would not have been eligible.

Rose Bowl: The 800-pound tournament float in the room. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is determined to keep the tradition and history of the Rose Bowl in a new postseason. Remember, the Rose, Big Ten and Pac-10 had to be dragged into joining the BCS. In essence, college football would not be at this point in history had not the bowl and its partners reluctantly agreed to open its bowl to the BCS.

That probably means it would not want to be part of a national semifinal. (It would, in theory, stay in a championship game rotation.) But Rose Bowl officials are concerned they may have no choice.

While Delany has been adamant about keeping the Rose-Big Ten-Pac-12 connection, it was interesting to hear Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on Wednesday. I asked him if he could ever envision the Rose Bowl game being a national semifinal.

“I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals,” he said.


The exam thing: The commissioners don’t want to play these games until after a general exam period that runs to Dec. 21. They want the season to end as close to Jan. 1 as possible. Using that window, here’s how a plus-one might look in 2014, the first year it could be played:

The weekend of Friday, Dec. 26 is a good place to start for the semifinals. Yes, that’s the day after Christmas, but teams have played on Thanksgiving for years. And Nick Saban isn’t going to fly Alabama in the night before the game just so his players can open their presents at home. It’s something we’re going to have to live with.

That leaves the championship game for Friday, Jan. 2 or Monday, Jan. 4, 2014. We’re assuming that the NFL would have dates tied up on Saturday and Sunday. College football bowls traditionally stay as far away as possible from going head-to-head with the NFL.

Ranking the teams: Another assumption -- the current system would stay in place with a plus-one – coaches poll, Harris poll, computers.

But Delany said even that subject has barely been discussed.

“Too early. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about rankings …,” he said. “If there is a way to improve the poll that’s great. It’s been a pretty phenomenal kind of mechanism for building interest.”

 “The level of understanding is modest in the sense that we have no idea what the marketplace would say, what the bowls would say, what the television people would say,” he added. “We’re just trying to understand conceptually what the pieces are. It will take months to test those kinds of options and ideas with presidents and athletic directors.

“It’s at the very beginning.”  

The commissioners next meet here March 26. The annual BCS meeting is April 24-26 in Hollywood, Fla. The discussion could last late into the year. ESPN has an exclusive negotiating window for the new postseason model in the fall. 

Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:52 am

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I suspect that the Big Ten will hold firm to something very similar to Delany's idea, wherein the semifinal games would be played at the higher-seeded team's campus (or, I would imagine, at a nearby larger venue of their choice, still as home team.) The losers in the semis would be available for other bowl games. The preservation of quality and quantity contestants for the conferences' allied bowls will have less value for most of the other conferences than it will for the Big Ten, although I'm not at all certain that the possibility of getting back a one-loss SEC champion for the Sugar Bowl wouldn't have its attractions.

The difficulty, of course, is with the scheduling. The semis really need to be held quickly, so that the Bowl invites can be made. There will be a lot of pencil sharpening going on during the months to come.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:25 am

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

Teres Minor, it really isn't a lie. What other schools and leagues do is their business; the Big Ten schools in particular, along with the old line ACC schools, feel very strongly about some of these issues. So strongly that I would be extremely surprised if there were a snowball's chance in Hell that you'll get your wish. Unlike a lot of these schools, the Big Ten doesn't merely pay lip service to things like tradition and academics.

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:43 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:58 am

Champions only, period.

There are too many conferences and too many worthy teams to allow someone who isn't even a champion of their own conference to play for a "national championship."  When it's a beauty contest, like it is now, teams are stupid to schedule tough non-conference games.  

Let the NCAA put their money where their mouths are.  Let them make "every game count" like they say it does now.  Let all six major conference champions into an eight team playoff, and fill it out with two teams from a pool of lesser conference champions and the highest-ranked indie if they are eighth or better.  

The first round could be the same week as Army-Navy, and semis and finals could be the same as the proposed "plus one" format: two NYD bowls for the semis and a true championship game on January 8, the same day as it is now.  

The bottom line: if the FCS can have a TWENTY TEAM PLAYOFF, the FBS can manage an eight team playoff.  Any rhetoric to the contrary is a flat out lie. 

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:20 pm

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I agree completely with HornsNbr1. The top three conference champions, plus a "wild card" non-champion, if ranked in the top four, should be included. If the top four teams are all conference champs, then the wild card goes away. Also, no more than one wild card (sorry, Stanford).

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:24 pm

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

Actually, Dodd, the NFL has completely taken Saturday games off its regular season schedule. So, according to your 2014 calendar, it would be possible to play Saturday games on those two weekends. The NFL, starting next season, will no longer play on Saturdays until the postseason.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:44 pm

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I like the top-ranked 3 conference winners, plus the 4th conference winner or one wildcard non-conference team if ranked in the top 4. That would give a team like Alabama a chance to recover from one in-conference loss, but give preference overall to season performance by conference winners. This year it would have been LSU vs Bama, OSU vs Oregon, and probably would have given us the Bama-OSU final most of us wanted to see. And yes, I think Oregon deserved to be in instead of Stanford.

Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:05 pm

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I've seen all of your comments; I'm yet to see anyone say anything about excluding the Rose Bowl completely.  If they are "The Grand-Daddy of them all" let them keep their tradition and let everyone else play for a national title.  Why do we p caring (Grand-Daddy) around like the wounded on our shoulders.  Once they see how much revenue is being generated from the playoffs they will change their way of thinking.  Or, give the teams the option.  Let them decide, either to play in the Rose Bowl or for the National Championship.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:43 am

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I don't know why my quote wasn't included but the OP I was talking about is WVU Dad

I could do it in ten minutes,  put the major bowls back to Jan 1, when they SHOULD be, then play the top two teams after the bowls on the 8th.

Don't use tradition as a moral imperative... That is the same thinking that has had us married to the bowl system for so many years.


Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:39 am

Plus-one revenue could be double current deal

I don't know if the OP was thinking about tradition but he's right and may not even know why.  The powers that be thought that moving the New Years Day bowls throughout the week as stand-alone events in the evening would generate more viewers(i.e., $$).  That hasn't happened and in various articles about the BCS meetings, it has been pointed out that they are talking about exactly this point as one of their topics.  Moving the games that traditionally have been on New Years Day back to New Years Day should accomplish two things - please the traditionalists and generate more $$ (in the form of higher viewership) than the idea of spreading out the games garnered.

Now, given that college football is more popular than the NFL (generates more $$ and we know this is all about the $$), can anyone explain to me why the networks continue to allow Real Football's little brother (the NFL - even though they try to sell the flawed idea that they're the Big Brother) to bump the traditional slate of games when New Years Day falls on Sunday.

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