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Former CBS Sports prez proposed eight-team playoff to NCAA

2011 World Congress of Sports Getty Images

While the BCS committee marches toward a July deadline on figuring out what the heck they’re going to do about this mess we call college football’s postseason, we are reminded yet again that this all could have been avoided years ago.

Appearing on the Paul Finebaum Network today, former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson said that in 1992, CBS went to the NCAA with the idea of an eight-team playoff. But with the current BCS set up being what it is, Pilson admitted that a four-team playoff — or, a plus-one; six of one, half-dozen of the other — starting on New Years Dy that would somehow incorporate the bowl system is the more likely alternative.

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC have recently admitted their ears were open to listen to playoff ideas, although to say there’s still a disagreement in format is quite an understatement. Couple that with the fear of “playoff creep” — the idea that a four-team playoff would give way to eight teams and to 16 teams and to 32 and to 240 –and the BCS committee is pursuing postseason change as though they’re surrounded by a pack of sleeping lions and a single objection would wake them.

We reference Bryan Fischer‘s CBS report about a NCAA-sponsored playoff  a lot on here, but there’s a reason. Such a format could generate up to a “billion dollars a year into the organization’s coffers to pay for everything from recommended books to grocery money to student-athlete cell phone bills.”

Just imagine what that number could be now if a playoff was started two decades ago.

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5 Responses to “Former CBS Sports prez proposed eight-team playoff to NCAA”
  1. canetic says: Mar 19, 2012 8:05 PM

    Eight team playoff makes sense. Six winners from each major conference (sorry Alabama*) + two at- large, seed them, four games on New Years Day hosted by the four big bowls (Orange, Fiesta, Rose, Sugar), two games the next week, and the championship game a week later. It’s not like they don’t play late into January as it is. Fans will look forward to that more than Christmas.

  2. farvite says: Mar 19, 2012 8:51 PM

    Can’t wait till schools are proposing ultimatums to the NCAA.

  3. bfloyd6277 says: Mar 19, 2012 10:41 PM

    @canetic: is that asterisk beside Alabama because they could be included in the two at-large teams? I’m not disagreeing with your idea as I look at it the same. However, the Big East doesn’t deserve an AQ and what if UCLA beat Oregon? Then you have a team that is 7-6 playing for a championship when there are far better teams out there.

    I believe they should take the FBS and split it. All the teams that are not in an AQ conference either gets in one or goes to the FBS II class and they have a separate determining factor for their champion. The six AQ conferences form FBS I and has no more than 16 teams in each conference. Now the conference champions go with two at-large teams. FBS I cannot schedule FCS opponents and may only schedule one FBS II opponent per season. The eight playoff teams play it out in the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar Bowls the week before Christmas. The next week the four winners play in two new named bowls and the week after that the championship is played at random places like the Super Bowl. There can still be smaller bowls as well, such as the Peach, Gator, and the Cotton.

    The reason I say split is because the BCS will never allow a BCS-buster a shot at the title anyways. This at least gives them teams a chance for their own kind of championship.

  4. vincentbojackson says: Mar 19, 2012 11:27 PM

    The money created by a playoff could be used to purchase books (or some really sweet tattoos for every member of the Buckeyes).

  5. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:53 AM

    DOA. The presidents won’t approve anything that spills into 2nd semester, as this plan would. We also wouldn’t get to see a big handful of the biggest stars from the 2 teams in the finals – they don’t go to school 2nd semester as they are too busy getting ready for the NFL draft. If the playoffs go into 2nd semester, and those players aren’t enrolled in school 2nd semester, they’d be ineligible to play in the game. Nobody – schools, game organizers, and the almighty NFL will allow this type of plan to ever happen.

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