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The new “favored proposal for a four-team playoff within the bowl system would place the two semifinal games at the traditional anchor bowls of the No. 1 and 2 teams' conferences,” according to sources cited by Stewart Mandel of SI.com. Another variation “currently under consideration for the playoff within the bowls is more straightforward: Two games would be preemptively designated as semifinal sites each season.” For example, the Rose and Sugar “might take their turns in 2015, the Fiesta and Orange in 2016.” However, a source said that version is "not as likely" to be adopted. Sources also said, contrary to some reports, the option of using on-campus sites remains "very much alive." One source said that the commissioners “left the meetings split about ‘60-40’ in favor of using bowl sites.” Mandel noted there is one detail “all plans have in common: The championship game will be bid out to all major cities, making it highly unlikely one of the current BCS bowls would host both a semifinal and a championship.” A source said, "The idea is to get away from double-hosting.” Two new bowls (one of them presumably the revitalized Cotton Bowl) “would join the four existing BCS bowls as part of a six-game television package, with a goal of playing all six on Dec. 31, Jan. 1 or Jan. 2” (SI.com, 4/30).
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: In Detroit, Michael Rosenberg writes semifinal games “should absolutely be on home fields.” College football “is a campus sport -- that is what makes it special.” Rosenberg: “If you ask Ohio State and Alabama to play in Phoenix, you suck the flavor out of the event” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/1). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Wetzel writes a four-team playoff “may not be perfect, but it's a perfect step in the right direction.” Wetzel offered four details to be considered. First, the playoff “should feature the top four teams overall, not the top four conference champions.” Second, the semifinals “should be played on campus; the title game should be open for bidding to any neutral site in the country.” Wetzel's third option: “If you must hate on-campus games, at least open this up to bid and not engage in the obvious cronyism of using only certain bowl sites.” And last, make the selection process “as transparent as possible,” as the sport “would be best served if it created a single computer formula” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/1).