BCS Commissioners Announce 4-Team Playoff For 2014

Negotiator extraordinaire - Mike Slive. The SEC Commissioner has brought the BCS Commissioners around to his way of thinking. The Commissioners adopted his plan for a playoff Wednesday night.

It looks like Mike Slive has won out in the negotiations that have been on going for the past five months over a new playoff system to determine college football's national champion.

The 14 member BCS Commissioners and Notre Dame's AD stood together in the Camelot Room of the Inter Continental Chicago Hotel last night to announce their solidarity.

What had seem to be a contentious fight over a plus 1 model versus a four team plus 1 playoff has been settled with a unanimous vote to move forward with the four team model. And perhaps of more importance - the new plan does not require teams to be conference champions.

Solidarity was the message in the announcement made by Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick who said, "We are on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football."

"I'm delighted with this progress," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, "The fact we're all here together is an important statement."

Slive, who for years has been pushing the plan adopted by the group, probably got the Big 10 and Pac 12 on board by convincing them the Rose Bowl will not lose its significance; because the proposal calls for the semifinals to be rotated between the major existing bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta) with a final game to come at the end of the bowl season.

The championship game will be bid out to cities similar to the way that the Super Bowl is presently done, which of course will bring more mega bucks into the BCS pot. Think of venues like Jerry World in Dallas as major bidders for the game.

Instead of a true plus one model or the three conference champions plus one wild card model promoted by Bill Delaney of the Big 10, the four teams will be selected by a committee similar to the way the teams are seeded in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Of course that's the new rub. Who will make up the committee, how much credence will be given to strength of schedule, conference champions, polls, and/ or computer rankings?

That question apparently will be tackled next Tuesday when the plan is presented to the BCS Presidents Committee in Washington, D.C. The current BCS system contractually expires at the end of 2013 so the new plan will go into effect in 2014.

Probably just as big a stickler as to what the criterion for the selection committee will be, is answering the question of how will the revenue from the 4-team playoff be shared? Yet that's an argument for another time. Right now, it's a major step forward just to have a consensus on how to determine a national champion.

Besides, let's don't rush this group. After all it took them countless meetings over five months just to come up with what the average fan already knew was the best idea - a Division I college football playoff.

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