As of a few weeks ago, the idea of a four-team playoff seemed almost inevitable. There was a model (four teams) and what sounded like a general consensus on a couple of important items, such as where the games would be played (semifinals within the bowl system; championship game bid out) and how the field would look (not conference champions-only).
But Dennis Dodd saw the writing on the wall. So did Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. There were too many issues to resolve and not enough time to do so — the deadline was originally June 20 — without someone hurting themselves. So, someone(s) in today’s BCS meeting probably had a meltdown that morphed into a Lewis Black-like tirade that morphed into the following decision:
The BCS committee will present “options” — plural — to the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee on June 26 instead of providing just one option. Supposedly, they’ll take it from there. I think. Maybe.
“Our job is just to narrow and refine the options,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said.
What Scott is really saying is that the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick didn’t want the responsibility anymore. So, the BCS committee decided to dump the job on the group that was going to approve/decline a decision anyway.
Here, you take it. No tag-backs!
“We made progress in our meeting today to discuss the future of college football’s post-season,” a statement from the BCS read. “We are approaching consensus on many issues and we recognize there are also several issues that require additional conversations at both the commissioner and university president levels.
“We are determined to build upon our successes and create a structure that further grows the sport while protecting the regular season. We also value the bowl tradition and recognize the many benefits it brings to student-athletes.
“We have more work to do and more discussions to have with our presidents, who are the parties that will make the final decisions about the future structure of college football’s post-season.”
Conveniently, the chair of the Presidential Oversight Committee, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, also issued the following statement earlier today saying the group is up to the task:
“This is an important decision that will not be taken lightly. The group will weigh the upsides and downsides carefully. It is the group’s desire to maintain college football as an element of higher education, to preserve the importance of the regular season, and to continue the bowl tradition and experience.”
Also on that committee is Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, who not 10 days ago said a plus-one was on the table. A week before Perlman, Scott did the same. I thought they were joking, but BCS executive director Bill Hancock reaffirmed it today.
With so much left to decide, serveral options are on the table, including a four-team playoff, but also the one where college football’s power brokers toss up piles of paper in disgust and decide to keep everything as is.