SBD/June 26, 2012/Colleges

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  • Presidential Oversight Committee Meets Today For First Football Playoff Talks

    Sources said a TV deal for the college football playoff could be for as much as $5B

    Endorsement “is expected today for a historic four-team major college football playoff” that likely will entail “a total of seven games each year, including four bowls in addition to the playoff,” according to Steve Wieberg in a USA TODAY sports section cover story. Sources said that the playoff would include “semifinals in bowls and then a separate national championship game.” The sources also said that two of the six bowls “would rotate each year as semifinal sites and the other four would serve as attractive landing spots for the best non-playoff teams.” Outside entities “also could bid, and eyes first will be cast towards Texas,” where Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones “already has joined the Cotton Bowl in a new non-profit group working to bring the title game” to Arlington. Wieberg notes there is “expected to be a 65,000-seat minimum for consideration” (USA TODAY, 6/26).

    LONG ROAD AHEAD
    : ESPN.com's Joe Schad noted members of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee “have been asked to block their schedules" until 10pm ET today to have “extra time to discuss and possibly approve" the proposed four-team college football playoff. The 11 BCS Commissioners and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick will “present their consensus plan for a playoff starting with the 2014 season” today in DC. Originally, the presidents “were told the meeting would last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.” but a source said the "plan is to stay until it gets done." A member of the committee said that the plan is “for a 12-year format cycle that would incorporate six bowls as part of a rotation that saw two bowls host national semifinals every three years.” The plan also calls for “national semifinals on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1” with the national championship game being “held on a Monday with at least one week in between.” The potential lateness of the title game “is one topic presidents plan to discuss” (ESPN.com, 6/25).

    STEP BY STEP: The AP’s Ralph Russo wrote whether approval “will come quickly or the presidents will mull it over, maybe toss it back for tweaks, is unknown.” The commissioners have been “careful not to get too far out in front of the presidents when publicly talking about a playoff” (AP, 6/25). Schad said, "They just want to walk away from (today's) meeting in unison, in agreement, just like the commissioners were in the recent meeting in Chicago, ‘We’re all on-board with this four-team playoff. We’re ready to move forward. Perhaps there will be some unforeseen negative ramifications, but if there are we’re willing to accept that because this is too good, we’ve waited too long. We need to move together’” (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 6/25).

    BCS PRESIDENTIAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
    UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
    Tulane Scott Cowen
    Notre Dame John Jenkins
    Florida Bernie Machen
    USC Max Nikias
    Idaho Duane Nellis
    Nebraska Harvey Perlman
    Northern Illinois John Peters
    Texas Bill Powers
    Louisville James Ramsey
    Western Kentucky Gary Ransdell
    Virginia Tech Charles Steger
    Fresno State John Welty

    TV DEAL COULD BRING BIG BUCKS: SPORTING NEWS’ Matt Hayes cited a source as saying that the playoff “could be sold to television for as much as $5 billion over a 10-year deal.” The ’11 BCS contract “paid out $174 million, and the newly restructured post season would nearly triple that number.” While ESPN “has right of first refusal and an exclusive negotiating window before the bidding process is opened,” a source said that the goal “is to get ESPN, NBC, Fox and CBS to bid on some or all of the package and drive up the price” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 6/25). ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg wrote two elements that “still must be discussed further and likely won't be resolved Tuesday: understanding playoff access and revenue distribution.” Although there is an “agreement in principle among the commissioners for how the revenue should be divided, the presidents want to have a thorough discussion on this topic.” A source said that the committee “could reveal a poll midway through the season to let the public know where things stand with certain teams” (ESPN.com, 6/25).

    PICKING WHO PICKS: Former Univ. of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer said of the selection committee, “I would think they'd need some coaches. You're going to have administrators, athletic directors. But I'd think you'd need the voices of some coaches in there” (OKLAHOMAN, 6/26). ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel writes of selecting the committee, “Let’s not make this complicated. Pick commissioners and athletic directors … and trust their integrity” (ESPN.com, 6/26).

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