A college football playoff is almost a reality. BCS officials announced today that they are recommending a four-team playoff beginning in 2014.
The BCS hopes to have the particulars of the playoff format determined by July 4. That includes the location of the semifinal games and championship game, how the teams are chosen, and whether participating teams must win their conference championship.
There are several playoff models that the BCS will likely choose from, as stated by CBSSports.com:
- A four-team playoff with the semifinals and final rotated among the existing BCS bowl games (Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Rose).
- A four-team playoff with the semifinals rotated among the existing BCS bowl games with the final held at a neutral site. The site of the final would be determined by a bid process, similar to how the Super Bowl is awarded.
- A four-team playoff with the semifinals and final held at either the existing BCS bowl game sites or neutral sites, determined by a bid process.
The BCS also announced today that the 8 and 16-team playoff models are officially “off the table” and that there will no longer be automatic and non-automatic qualifier conferences.
Here is the full text of the statement from the BCS on the playoff:
“As part of our deliberations, we have carefully considered a number of concepts concerning the post-season structure for the BCS. From the start, we set out to protect college football’s unique regular season which we see as the best regular season in sports. We are also mindful of the bowl tradition and seek to create a structure that continues to reward student-athletes with meaningful bowl appearances.“Having carefully reviewed calendars and schedules, we believe that either an 8-team or a 16-team playoff would diminish the regular season and harm the bowls. College football’s regular season is too important to diminish and we do not believe it’s in the best interest of student-athletes, fans, or alumni to harm the regular season.
“Accordingly, as we proceed to review our options for improving the post-season, we have taken off the table both an 8-team and a 16-team playoff.
“We will continue to meet and review the exact structure for what a new post-season could look like. We are making substantial progress. We will present to our conferences a very small number of four-team options, each of which could be carried out in a number of ways.
“We have discussed in detail the advantages and disadvantages of in-bowl or out-of-bowl games.
We have discussed in detail the advantages and disadvantages of campus sites or neutral sites. We have discussed in detail the advantages and disadvantages of various ways to rank or qualify teams.
“Our process is proceeding as we have planned and we look forward to further conversations.”