College Playoff Here We Come?
By Brandon Castel
College football took one giant leap towards a playoff on Wednesday, as the conference commissioners met to discuss the current BCS system in Chicago.
When all was said and down, the BCS Commissioners — along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick— reach a consensus that a four-team playoff would be the best thing for college football.
The commissioners’ consensus is not the final step in the process, but it is a tremendous victory for those who oppose the current BCS format used to determined the national champion in college football.
Their consensus must be approved by the BCS presidential oversight committee, which meets June 26 in Washington D.C., but the playoff model for college football would begin in the 2014 season.
“We're very unified,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told reporters on Wednesday.
“There are issues that have yet to be finalized. There's always devil in the detail, from the model to the selection process, but clearly we've made a lot of progress.”
The current BCS system has been in place since 1998, when it replaced the old voting system, which often led to split national championships throughout the years. There would still be a human element involved in college football’s playoff, however, as it’s anticipated the four teams will selected by a committee.
That committee will weigh qualifications, such as a strength of schedule and conference championships, which Delany believes should be used as a potential tiebreaker for closely bunched teams.
Delany also said he believes the coaches poll and non-transparent polls should not be a part of the selection process. While the commissioners and athletic directors clearly favor the four-team playoff model, it won’t be the only scenario the university presidents will look at next week.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 presidents have also expressed support for the “plus-one model,” which is similar to a four-team playoff, but also different. The playoff model would feature two national semifinal games played at existing BCS bowl sites, with a national championship game hosted by the highest bidding city.
The “plus-one model” would simply select two teams to participate in one extra national championship game after all of the other bowl games have been completed.
“I'm comfortable both of those will still be discussed at the president's meeting,” Delany added on Wednesday.
One way or another, it looks like things are going to be much different in the world of college football come 2014.
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