SBD/April 5, 2012/Colleges

BCS Officials Narrow Postseason Options To Four, Including Two Four-Team Playoff

One option has Rose Bowl hosting Big 10 and Pac-12 champs each year
Officials weighing changes in college football's BCS “are focusing on four options, two of them incorporating a four-team playoff,” according to Steve Wieberg of USA TODAY. The plans range “from a long-discussed ‘plus one’ format … to a heretofore undisclosed four-team playoff proposal that could expand the semifinals to preserve a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup in the Rose Bowl.” Also being “weighed is a conventional four-team playoff with various playing-site options, one of them placing semifinals in the home stadiums of higher-seeded teams.” The BCS also “could stick with an amended version of its current format.” The two-page summary “was drawn up in advance of BCS meetings in Hollywood, Fla., this month.” While the summary stated that “no options are off the table, it makes it clear the conference commissioners who run the system have pared their preferences to the four” (USA TODAY, 4/5).

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME....: CBSSPORTS.com’s Dennis Dodd noted the latest postseason model termed a "four-team plus" was the “only new model put forward in a memo sent to stakeholders this week.” The Rose Bowl “would get the Pac-12 and Big Ten champions, its traditional game, each year.” If either of those two teams, or both, “are in the top four -- their vacated spots in the top four would be filled by the next highest-ranked teams.” Dodd noted the “underlying achievement of a four-team plus is that the access would have been extended all the way to No. 6.” To “stay away from any legal challenges, the new postseason structure must account for the possibility of non-automatic qualifiers getting in.” The latest proposal “isn't considered front burner but does point up the Rose Bowl's importance to the system." With the Big Ten and Pac-12 as partners, it "controls one-fifth of FBS.” This proposal would make the Rose Bowl “more relevant, perhaps, than at any time following the formation of the BCS in 1998.” What no one is saying on the record is the Rose Bowl “does not want to be a national semifinal.” Pac-12 ADs “discussed as much during a meeting last August.” In other words, the Rose Bowl “does not view favorably anything that makes the bowl a part of a playoff instead of the Granddaddy Of Them All.” Officials at all the major bowls “have been anxious about how -- or even whether -- they would fit in the new postseason.” While there is “still some of that consternation, it's clear there will be attempts to give special consideration to the Rose Bowl” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/4). USA TODAY’s Kelly Whiteside writes judging by the response from several Pac-12 and Big Ten ADs contacted yesterday, “there’s clearly a desire to let the process play out.” Presumably everyone realizes “that most outside those two leagues won’t be on board for the proposal” (USA TODAY, 4/5).
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