Bowl Championship Series officials have narrowed their discussions for a college football playoff to four options, USA TODAY has reported.
Among the scenarios is a controversial “four teams plus” format. Under that proposal, the field would contain six teams and would preserve the traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 match-up in the Rose Bowl.
…the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues’ teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.
The “four teams plus” format isn’t a true playoff because the two teams that would face off in the championship game would be “selected” by the committee. That would still create BCS chaos because a team that won their first-round playoff game could conceivably not advance any further.
This proposal is, of course, backed by the Big Ten and Pac-12. The two conferences are trying to maintain their bid to the most prestigious BCS bowl game.
Here’s a look at the other three options under consideration:
- BCS With Adjustments – Maintains the current system but eliminates automatic qualification, eliminates limit on number of teams from each conference and play games closer to January 1. This option would also create a format that would “accommodate different conference champions participating in different bowl games.”
- Original “Plus One” – After the completion of the bowl games, the committee would select two teams to play in the National Championship Game.
- Four-team Event – This format would have seeded semifinals and a championship game with four options:
1) All three games played in bowls.
2) All three games played at neutral sites through a bid process. Games would not be branded as bowl games.
3) Semifinal games played in bowls and the championship game site would be determined through a bid process. The championship game would not be branded as a bowl game.
4) Semifinal games played at campus sites (presumably hosted by higher seeded team). Championship game site would be determined through a bid process.
My preference is for a “Four-team Event” using option 2, 3 or 4. That would be the closest format to a college football playoff as you can get with only four teams, and it should provide the most revenue through bidding.
The BCS meetings are scheduled for April 24-26 in Hollywood, Florida. There won’t be any final decisions made until sometime after the conferences’ spring meetings in May and June.
“There is no a leader in the clubhouse,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock told USA TODAY Sports, “and frankly, that’s just fine at this stage.”