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Playoff resolution coming in September?


Playoff discussions took a hit — or, at least encountered a bump in the road — last week when the BCS committee, composed of 11 conference commissioner’s and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, decided to hand the responsibility of choosing college football’s postseason to the BCS’ Presidential Oversight Committee.

The presidents/chancellors had the final say in the playoff conversation anyway, but instead of approving/denying one idea, the committee will now have “options” from which to choose. “Our job is just to narrow and refine the options,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said last week.

Point is, don’t count on a decision of any kind in the next couple of weeks. Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman reports, citing sources, that the committee likely won’t decide on a playoff format until September because they will “have only four hours on June 26 in Washington, D.C., to digest, consider and approve one of the options handed them” by the BCS committee.

More from Bohls:

I’m told by an industry source that the Pac-12 and Big Ten feel that the SEC and Big 12 may be trying to ‘railroad through’ a four-team tournament, when the former two conferences are advocating a plus-one idea after the existing bowl games. “This thing is very fluid,he said. “These men are looking at this as their legacy.”

It should be noted that when playoff conversations first began earlier this year, the timeline to have a format finalized was the end of summer, so the fact that Bohls is throwing around a September deadline shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The unexpected part was the BCS committee handing off the baton to the Presidential Oversight Committee for the final 100 meters.

By presenting the committee with several options, the BCS committee has acknowledged that all possibilities in varying degrees of probability are still on the table. Keep in mind that some of the presidents/chancellors on the oversight committee are far more conservative than their own conference commissioners.

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12 Responses to “Playoff resolution coming in September?”
  1. fcmlefty1 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:06 AM

    This just more or less confirms that there is still a major philosophical difference. The Big 10-Pac 12 1st priority is to protect the bowls, especially the Rose, and if a playoff can happen inside that or around that, great. The SEC and Big 12 want a playoff 1st and foremost, and if the bowls can happen around it or be part of it, great. Writing that, first thought is that they are close. But anybody that has been following this knows that they are really oceans apart on this thing yet. Both sides have valid points and a sound, feasible plan. Unfortunately, those two plans don’t play well together at all at this point.

  2. wvucolumbus says: Jun 18, 2012 9:37 AM

    Attempts by the B1G to retain the Rose Bowl as a valued component of college football should not be surprising to college football fans. Population shifts from N and E to S and W have (to a small degree) and will (to a larger degree) render this northern conference less relevant in the coming years. Teams like Ohio State will obviously be ok due to the massive population in this state.

    The B1G wisely understands that if this vital piece of college football goes away, annual relevance will be situated in 3 conferences….SEC, Big XII and Pac-12.

  3. fcmlefty1 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:45 AM

    “Population shifts from N and E to S and W have (to a small degree) and will (to a larger degree) render this northern conference less relevant in the coming years. Teams like Ohio State will obviously be ok due to the massive population in this state. ”

    While these are all true trends, its irrelevent to Big 10 football. Any of the 12 teams in the league can win by hiring the right coach, and said coach having 3 consecutive good recruiting classes.

    Playing hypothetical: I have no doubt that Gary Patterson and/or Chris Petersen, among others, could build a Big 10 title team, even at Minnesota or Indiana.

  4. coolhorn says: Jun 18, 2012 9:56 AM

    What I get out of this is that there’s still a very big divide between the two factions, B1G and PAC 12 versus SEC and Big XII. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement to strongly urge either a plus one or four best teams plan, so they’re in effect backing off ten yards and punting by handing over all the plans to the college presidents and telling them to choose. I hate to say so, but I think Bohls might be optimistic in saying this could be resolved in September. Too many cooks DO spoil the stew.

  5. mdak06 says: Jun 18, 2012 10:05 AM

    The question might end up being who the ACC, Big East and remaining conferences align themselves with. The Big Ten & Pac-12 can’t pass anything by themselves, and the SEC and Big 12 can’t either.

    Remember, the presidential oversight committee has one rep from each of the 11 FBS conferences (as well as the ND prez).

  6. kdbroom says: Jun 18, 2012 10:51 AM

    Interesting how “the Pac-12 and Big Ten feel that the SEC and Big 12 may be trying to ‘railroad through’ a four-team tournament”, but there’s no mention from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten that they’re trying to railroad through a Plus One model.

    If the four major conferences (Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12) have all drawn their lines in the sand as two competing coalitions, then what really matters is which coalition the other major conferences decide to join. In my opinion, the ACC and Big East benefit more from the playoff model than the Plus One model. The Plus One essentially keeps everything in place, and then picks the top two teams for the championship. Getting one of two slots will be harder than getting one of four slots, especially considering the BCS bowl locations and opponents for ACC and Big East teams. If a Plus One model gets adopted, the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12 will all have legitimate opponents for their two key bowl games (Rose and Champions). That won’t necessarily be the case for the ACC and Big East. I suspect they’ll play the at-large teams, which should be a cut below the champions of the big four.

    Also, I like how the SEC and the Big 12 created the Champions Bowl. The new bowl can give them leverage. If the Pac-12 and Big Ten try to get special accommodations for the Rose Bowl, then the SEC and Big 12 will demand the same for the Champions Bowl. It’s two major conferences against two major conferences. True, the Champions Bowl doesn’t have the long-standing tradition of the Rose Bowl, but that doesn’t really matter right now. This is simply a game of coalitions among the key players (Presidents and ADs) within major college football. Whichever side gets the larger coalition should win the debate.

  7. weavergm says: Jun 18, 2012 11:36 AM

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember reading they the BCS oversight committee works somewhat like a jury, 12 angry men have to come to unanimous agreement before anything can pass. For the Big East and every conference below it in the pecking order, there is essentially no choice but to go along with the power brokers or else they risk exclusion (Big 4 secede from NCAA, everyone left behind is basically FCS). The ACC is still powerful enough to affect the outcome, but not so much so they can hold out for a “must have” concession.

    But if the Pac-12 or the Big Ten, especially together, take their toys and go home, the playoff is probably dead. If that happens, we don’t go back to the status quo, because that also would require presidential agreement. We go back to the original bowl system, albeit maybe aligned more in favor of the conferences who are learning how to assert themselves better. That scenario would likely be preferred by the Pac presidents, which may give them enough leverage to force a Plus One. Or the SEC may choose to let the BCS die and promote the Champions Bowl as a national championship game.

  8. mizzou28 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:42 PM

    Well this is just stupid. The SEC and Big 12 should demand that the Sugar Bowl be the permanent site for their yearly bowl game. Thus to stick it to the B1G and Pac 12. Sorry it is a two way street here, and the B1G and PAC (especially the B1G) wants to cheat their way into a national title game playoff with conference winners. I know the NFL format blah blah blah. Except wildcard teams who DO NOT win their division win the Super Bowl, so suck on that B1G.

    Best 4 teams in the playoff, final, only LOGICAL resolution. Sorry a 2 or 3, or even a 1 loss PAC or B1G winner is still not in the same league as a one loss SEC conference loser.

    You can beat them, so you try to screw them. The motto of the B1G and PAC

  9. fcmlefty1 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:19 PM

    @Mizzou – you give me an unbiased way to rank the top 4 teams, and we’ll talk…

    And how are NFL wild cards determined: by victories. No more, no less. If you are willing to agree that any wild cards are determined solely by wins, you are on to something. Anything else is going back to opinions.

    We already have a system that is based solely on opinion, and it completely sucks. But yet just about everybody is more than happy to institute a new system thats still based on opinion? Guess what? That new system will suck too. Even the conference champs or 3+1 model is still based on opinion, because its still opinion deciding who the “best” champions are.

    Here’s a little secret as to why every other sports playoff system will still be better than whatever FBS football can come up with: Its because the only thing that matters in every other sport is winning more games than your fellow competing teams.

  10. bamaroll says: Jun 18, 2012 6:57 PM

    Surely the “+1 model” won’t fly. Picking two teams that pass the “eye test” in the bowl season is more subjective than ever. It takes us backwards in that we’re basing our assessment on the bowl games and not on the regular season.

    The 4 teams must be evaluated based on their body of work during the regular season. That protects the regular season which is the most important issue underlying the playoff setup.

  11. fcmlefty1 says: Jun 19, 2012 10:17 AM

    “The 4 teams must be evaluated based on their body of work during the regular season. That protects the regular season which is the most important issue underlying the playoff setup.”

    Agreed, to a point. If we are going to evaluate the whole body of work, we better really do so completely. That HAS to include a serious, serious (like insurmountable) penalty for choosing to schedule FCS teams for non conference opponents. If we really are going to compare bodies of work, we need to realize that some schools play 12 legit competitions while others really only choose to play 10.

  12. vtandy says: Jun 19, 2012 11:50 AM

    Start the season earlier, in mid-August. Finish the season and championship games earlier, before Thanksgiving. Take exams. 8 team playoff, conference champs and remaining top 4 teams. Everyone is happy.

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