BCS takes giant leap toward adopting playoff system

The second-best thing to happen in the wake of Alabama’s 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS title game came Wednesday night, when the basketball Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide.

After LSU won the opening tip and dribbled across midcourt, the Alabama fans gave the Tigers a mock standing ovation for doing what the football team couldn’t do for 3 1/2 quarters on Monday night. Ouch!

But the best thing came as the final piece of confetti was falling in New Orleans. The BCS commissioners met Tuesday to discuss possible changes for determining a national champion beginning in 2014, including a four-team playoff.

PLAYOFF! Did they say PLAYOFF? Not to sound too much like Jim Mora, but I was beginning to think the word wasn’t in the BCS’s vocabulary. Fans have been calling for it for years and the power brokers are finally listening.

But forget the bitterness as long as we can make some progress. It seems the current BCS contract runs through 2014, so we could be looking at a Plus-One system to in place before the SEC starts to build Monopoly hotels on the trophy.

But before we get our popcorn ready, let’s not forget what we’re up against here. The BCS oligarchy is a greedy bunch and will ultimately act in whatever way makes the most financial sense to their coffers, hence the current bowl system.

The BCS had been reluctant to abandon the bowls for a playoff for fiscal reasons. The current list of 35 bowls come with title sponsors and presenting sponsors and big bucks, and they don’t want to do anything that might stem that flow of dollars.

But the group has been studying what kind of financial windfall could result from a playoff system,and the payoff suddenly seems worth it. Sponsors would be lining up to get a piece of the playoff pie, enough to justify the possible loss of the C&J Hubcaps Bowl. Now we’re talking their language.

But there will be much more talk between now and the BCS’s self-imposed July 4 deadline, primarily low-key negotiations with the networks to see which initials will fork over the most cash to broadcast what will be a history-making event.

The most likely format would be the winners of two designated bowl games advancing to play in a national championship game a week later. The new BCS championship game would likely be played at a host city, which again would be the highest bidder.

This year, for instance, No. 1 LSU would have played No. 4 Stanford in, say, the Sugar Bowl, while No. 2 Alabama would have played No. 3 Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. The winners, probably Alabama and LSU, would play in the national title game and the ratings would be out the roof.

Far from the perfect system but light years ahead of the current one. Although the wishes of fans’ for an eight-team or even a 16-team playoff has fallen upon deaf ears, let’s hope the BCS lords keep following the almighty dollar straight to the end zone.

Like LSU, at least now they’re finally across the 50.

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One response to “BCS takes giant leap toward adopting playoff system”

  1. mark Gray says:

    I like the 8 team playoff format seed them 1 thru 8 top four host first round then evrything is the same as plus one .This would give up & coming teams like Boise a chance first win a road game then bowl game then national title.This format would be a tough road but no more undefeated teams that get locked out .The scholarship limit is going from 85 to 80 which helps parody .BCS title is just as mythical as all the other titles even a SEC fan would say that the year Auburn went undefeated and was locked out.The call for a playoff is not because of an all SEC match up it is also Boise & K- state getting overlooked for Michigan and Virginia Tech the whole system is a joke .First round would be half way into the 30 plus day lay off bowls would stay the same all 35 with a extra plus one game at the end.Eight teams play one extra game two play two simple fair for even the little guy more american a real champion would be the result.

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