SBD/November 13, 2012/Colleges

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  • Sources: BCS Officials Reach Agreement On Four-Team Playoff; Approve Revenue Sharing

    Pac-12 officials pushed for a seventh access bowl for the college football playoffs

    The BCS commissioners and Presidential Oversight Committee "settled on a rotation of six bowls for the semifinals of the upcoming college football playoff system," according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com. In addition, the highest-rated champion from the "Group of Five" conferences -- the Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Mid-American -- "will receive an automatic berth in one of the six access bowls." The six games will "include three 'contract bowls' and three 'host bowls.'" The spots in the contract bowls "are reserved for teams that have deals with those bowls." The contract bowls are the Rose, Sugar and Orange. Sources said that the remaining three access or "host" bowls "still must be determined, but the leading candidates are the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A." With the "Group of Five" earning an automatic bid, that will "lock up seven of the 12 berths in the six access bowls." The other five berths will be "filled with at-large teams chosen, based on their final rankings, by a yet-to-be-formed selection committee." The oversight committee "gave the commissioners authority to finalize a media rights deal with ESPN." McMurphy cited a SportsBusiness Journal report which projected the deal to be worth about $500M a year over 12 years. The SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 "will receive the biggest chunk of the new revenue." Next up for the commissioners is "naming the new structure, details of the selection committee, the rotation of the semifinals and determining the site for the first championship game on Jan. 12, 2015" (ESPN.com, 11/12).

    LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN? USA TODAY's George Schroeder notes the "Group of Five" conferences had "pushed for adding a seventh bowl beginning in 2014, when college football moves to a four-team playoff." The Big 12 and Pac-12 "also were in favor of the extra bowl, which would have allowed a second guaranteed slot for those conferences' teams." But with "little interest from potential TV partners, commissioners ultimately decided against the idea" (USA TODAY, 11/13).

    TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN
    : In Denver, John Henderson notes the "higher portion of revenues will go to conferences that qualify for the two semifinals." While that is not "advantageous for the five smaller conferences, projected TV revenues of up to" $7.2B over the 12 years of the contract "would guarantee smaller schools more money than they receive now." Ten percent of the revenue will "go to conferences for academics, but any school that does not meet the current Academic Progress Report will receive nothing." Conferences will "divide the money among schools meeting the APR requirement" (DENVER POST, 11/13).

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