BCS Presidential Oversight Committee approves four-team college football playoff
In a couple of years Florida fans will have to refer to the "BCS era" when they talk about the two national titles the Gators won in 2006 and 2008.
That's because there will be no more BCS titles.
On Tuesday, the Presidential Oversight Committee made up of university presidents - including Florida president Bernie Machen - who oversee the Bowl Championship Series, voted to create a new four-team, seeded post-season playoff to determine the national champion in college football. The new format will begin with the 2014-2015 season.
“We recognize that the BCS has been controversial in some years, but we also believe it has turned college football from a regional sport into a wonderfully popular national sport, much to the benefit of our alumni, student-athletes and fans,” the twelve members of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee said in a joint statement. “We now seek to build an even better college football season by creating a four-team playoff to crown the national champion, while protecting the regular season and the bowl experience. We’re delighted to support this format and congratulate the group of conference commissioners who have done so much for college football and who worked so hard to make this happen.”
The plan is for 12 years and will run from the 2014-2015 season through the 2025-2026 season.
Here are some of the highlights of the plan:
The semifinal games will be rotated among six bowl sites, and rotation of the championship game among neutral sites. The championship game will be managed by the conferences and will not be branded as a bowl game.
Playoff teams will be decided by a selection committee that will rank the teams to play in the playoff, giving all the teams an equal opportunity to participate, according to the POC release. Among the factors the committee will value are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and whether a team is a conference champion.
The SEC coaches, athletic directors and commissioner Mike Slive had been vehemently opposed to making conference champions a mandatory part of the equation, so the fact that it's just part of the consideration is a win for the SEC. Under a conference-champions only scenario, Alabama, which went on to win the 2012 BCS title game, would not have been eligible for the playoffs.
The semifinals will be played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The date of the first semifinal games will be either Wednesday, December 31, 2014, or Thursday, January 1, 2015.
The presidents voted to create “Championship Monday” by setting the date of the championship game on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after the final semi-final game is played. As a result, in the first five years the championship game will be played on Monday, January 12, 2015; Monday, January 11, 2016; Monday, January 9, 2017; Monday, January 8, 2018; and Monday, January 7, 2019.
Among additional matters to be decided later are the name of the new event; the composition of and procedures for the selection committee; the final funding formula; and which bowls will participate as rotating hosts of semi-final playoff games.