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BcS commissioners to meet, continue playoff discussions

Jim Mora

The next step in major college football’s seemingly inexorable march toward some type of playoff system to determine a national championship will take place Monday, Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News has so kindly reminded us Monday morning.

However, don’t look for much more than a postseason baby step to be taken.  If that.

As noted by Carlton — if you’re a college football fan, follow him on Twitter — the commissioners of the six BcS conferences will meet today to continue discussions on how the future of the game’s postseason will take shape.  While the current BcS cycle runs through the 2013 season, it’s been widely reported that a postseason plan for 2014 and beyond will likely be in place by the end of summer this year.

This next step, baby or not, will take place at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as the commissioners continue the process of whittling “50 or 60” suggestions for a playoff down to something that can be agreed upon by all 11 Div. 1-A (FBS) conferences — or 10, pending the Mountain West/Conference US merger — and independents such as BYU and Notre Dame.  While it remains unclear just what shape a new postseason would take, all signs point to a four-team dip into the playoff pool above anything beyond that number.

How those four teams would be selected could be a topic of discussion among the power conference commissioners today.

The Big Ten is reportedly in favor of a four-team playoff in which the semifinal games would be played at on-campus venues.  The Pac-12 has agreed in principle to put an end to the BcS and implement a playoff system, one in which all four spots would be filled by conference champions.  The Big 12’s interim commissioner, Chuck Neinas, has publicly stated that he sides with the Pac-12’s idea of “taking four conference champions.”

The SEC is currently and wholeheartedly against the latter proposal, while also believed to be in need of some convincing on the former.

We’re also guessing that a certain Utah attorney general’s name may come up for discussion.

Again, as Carlton notes, there will likely be precious little “hard news” coming out of today’s meeting.  The most important thing, though, is that there is a meeting that serves as the next step in a process that should’ve started — and resulted in a playoff system — a long, long time ago.

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10 Responses to “BcS commissioners to meet, continue playoff discussions”
  1. floridacock says: Mar 26, 2012 8:25 AM

    Rediculous! 4 conference champions? Who will be left out? You can not do it fairley without 8 teams at least.

  2. orthomarine says: Mar 26, 2012 9:01 AM

    8 team playoff, on campus (or respected field), and go from there.

  3. mountaineer50415 says: Mar 26, 2012 9:09 AM

    It seems that there is no way to be completely fair. No matter what the suggestion there is someone who does not agree. The reason seems to be that there is always a problem with human decisions. If you take the top four teams, they were chosen by humans. If you take four from the conferences, what about the top four? Lets say you have Ok.#1, Texas#2 Alabama#3 and Auburn#4 Now what? Do you leave out #2 and #4 to take someone from the Pac 12 or the Big 10. It would be better to take the top 6 in the country for play offs. They must be top 6 by human and computer. There will still be people who disagree, but it will be a lot more fair. No need in having a top 25 if it doesn’t matter. The top 25 teams should get a bowl game. They should not be in the top 25 if they are not capable of playing in a bowl game. Some people who win 6 games are not good enough. Some are now but were not earlier. Just not easy for people to know these things. Do not add people in bowl games that are not in the top 25. Do not leave people out of the top 25 just because they play in the Big East or any other conference.
    This year WV should have been higher ranked in football, however they should have been in the NIT in basketball. In both cases the placement was way off. I almost missed their basketball game as I was looking in the NIT. What a joke. They were not good enough to be where thay were. An even bigger joke, the Sugar bowl.

  4. bozosforall says: Mar 26, 2012 10:03 AM

    Can’t wait to see the next jury-rigged sham of a “playoff” that they put together. Letting the schools run the system is the big problem here.

  5. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 26, 2012 11:30 AM

    As long as the coaches poll is not part of the equation for selecting the teams, it will be a step in the right direction. Needs to be a new, improved computer system in conjunction with an independent selection committee. From there, the conference champs vs top 4 teams regardless of conference affiliation turns into a philosophical debate, both with their strong merits and obvious drawbacks.

  6. Brother Ben says: Mar 26, 2012 12:36 PM

    Tiered Entrance to the playoff

    The top 3 champions get in
    The next 2 teams get in (wild card)

    Play the wild card game alongside CCGs. (2011: Alabama vs. Stanford)

    Except for people who want at least 8, 16, 64 teams; what is wrong with this tiered approach?

  7. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 26, 2012 12:52 PM

    @Brother Ben –

    That approach only really works for the 2011 season because it was such an oddity. You can’t realistically have a plan that potentially puts any team in two places at once. This would happen more frequently than not for the perceived #2 team in the SEC, for example. It only, only works for the odd year where a team can be a non-divisional winner AND stay in the top 5 of the rankings. Its not going to happen very often at all.

  8. florida727 says: Mar 26, 2012 1:25 PM

    “bozosforall” brings up potentially the most critical point, stated another way: how can you let the participants determine who participates? That’s like letting a bank robber design the security system. Each conference commissioner will have their own agenda.

    I’m an SEC fan (go ahead, thumbs down me if you must). I’m biased, I admit it. But even I didn’t want to see a rematch in the title game last year. I wanted to see how Stanford would do against LSU. Or Baylor, or whoever. Not someone who already LOST AT HOME to LSU during the regular season. Seriously, imagine the conversation: “how’d you guys do last year”, “great! we won the national championship”, “tougher game than the SEC championship game?”, “uh, well, we didn’t actually play in that one”, “really?”, “really”.

    Mike Slive LOVED it. More revenue for the conference; more bragging rights (guaranteed sixth consecutive national title), etc. But was it “right”? Naturally he will not support a conference-champions-only format. It eliminates the potential for what happened last year.

    Regardless, nothing will come out of this meeting. That’s the one assurance you can count on.

  9. dickroy says: Mar 26, 2012 2:40 PM

    Nothing less than an 8 team playoff system!!

  10. Brother Ben says: Mar 26, 2012 2:51 PM

    Well obviously division winners would not play in a wild card game because if they are ranked that high then they already have a 13th game (with an easier matchup) which they can win to get to the playoffs. But you are right that in the future conferences without championship games would have to leave that weekend open. Oklahoma – OK State would have to move back to Thanksgiving weekend.

    Given that, it would work every year:
    2011: Alabama vs. Stanford
    2010: Stanford vs. Wisconsin
    2009: TCU vs. Boise State
    2008: Texas vs. Utah
    2007: Georgia vs. USC*
    2006: Michigan vs. LSU

    *USC played a regular season game in December, leaping Kansas

    Really the only issue I have run into is the case where there are already 4+ strong conference champion contenders at the top. In 2005 the standings looked like this:

    #1 USC, #2 Texas, #3 PSU, #4 LSU, #5 VT

    A weaker version of my plan is to simply say the playoffs is for champions only, but to count the wild card winner as a champion. Ultimately, in 2005, LSU and VT lost their CCG, opening the door for the wild-card “champion” (#6 OSU vs. #7 Oregon).

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