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SEC COMMISH KRAMER SEES A SWISS MISS ON ISL PLAN FOR PLAYOFF
Published June 22, 1999
ISL has met with SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer several times in the past six months "to pitch its plan for a" 16- team, $375M college football playoff to launch in 2003, according to Steve Kirk of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS. But Kramer, who also coordinates the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), is not sold on the idea yet: "I'm not here to say there will never be a college football playoff, but I don't believe it will be run by someone in Switzerland." While the current bowl system "distributes" around $140M each year, ISL has offered the NCAA more than $2.4B over eight years for the right to set up a playoff system. However, Kramer "is most willing to list many reasons why he believes [a playoff] won't work." One is that the contract between the Big Ten and Pac 10 with the Rose Bowl continues for three years after the BCS plan expires in 2002, creating a "six-year window that it can't happen." Kramer: "You've got to have Ohio State and Michigan in the mix. You can't go sell it without them." Kramer also pointed out that college presidents don't want to "sell college football" to the firm. Finally, there is the issue of timing, as ISL's proposal calls for eight first-round games to be played on college campuses during weekends during the NFL season. Kramer: "I've done my share of TV negotiating, and we're talking about going head-to-head with (the NFL)?" To counter movement toward a playoff, the BCS will unveil a promo campaign around all bowls this season, including TV/ radio and football programs ads (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 6/20).