FBS presidents boot BCS, approve playoffFour-team playoff system to take effect in 2014 season
The Football Bowl Subdivision joined the traditional practices of other college sports on Tuesday, when a board of 12 university Presidents (one from each FBS conference as well as Notre Dame) approved a four-team playoff system for the National Championship that will start in the 2014 season.
The new playoff system, which will abandon the current process of using the BCS rankings to determine a National Champion, will see a committee will select four teams to play in a mini-tournament for the National Championship.
The committee will chose their top four out of 125 teams based on win-loss records, head-to-head results, strength of schedules, and whether or not they are conference champions. Those teams will be seeded one through four, and the semifinals will feature a No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 format with the winners to meet for the National Championship.
According to a top BCS official, a playoff system was never adopted in the past because it was believed to take away the significance of the regular season, a sanctity that is believed to be upheld under the newly-adopted format.
''It's a great day for college football,'' BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said. ''As soon as the commissioners realized they could do this and protect the regular season, the light went on for everybody.''
Although college football fans are likely thrilled with Tuesday’s decision, the system has not struck everyone’s fancy.
''There were differences of views,'' said Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, who headed the BCS presidential oversight committee. ''I think it would be a serious mistake to assume it was a rubber stamp.''
In particular, Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman was known for being against the new playoff system, but he has since come to accept the news.
''This is the package that was put forth and we will strongly support it,'' Perlman said.
The semifinals will take place on December 31 and January 1 each year, with the championship being held the first Monday that is six-plus days after the semifinals. The locations of those semifinal games has yet to be determined, but the Rose Bowl is guaranteed to get at least one of those games over the first six years; the other current BCS Bowls (Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar) are expected to be top contenders, and according to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive, the newly-created bowl that is as of now set to pit an SEC team against a Big 12 opponent is another candidate.
The site of the final game will be determined in the same manner as the Super Bowl, with cities bidding to host the FBS National Championship Game every year.
With the new system in place, the NCAA is seeking a 12-year TV partnership, one that is expected to more than double the TV revenue generated by the current BCS plan. The new system is also expected to rake in greater revenue for participating schools.
''We believe this new format will be good for student-athletes, for the alumni and for our institutions,'' Steger said. ''It's a best of both worlds result. It captures the excitement of the playoff while protecting the regular season.''
The first tournament will see semifinal games on Dec. 31, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015, with the first “Championship Monday” coming on January 12, 2015.
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