Ronald Martinez

College Football Playoff coverage: Details just about fully announced

A century of bowls and polls gives way to a four-team Playoff system, which will still make you mad at least once a year.

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315 Total Updates since September 13, 2011
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Playoff committee explains its process

The committee also announces which of its members must recuse themselves from discussions of which schools, due to personal ties.


Playoff bowl process isn't *that* confusing

If the Orange Bowl has the third team from the Big 8 on the seventh year and Notre Dame has at least 50 Catholic players, Oklahoma is playing in the Blockbuster Bowl!


This is the new College Football Playoff trophy

The first year of the Playoff includes some new hardware.


Playoff mock foreshadows future madness

College football's forthcoming Playoff might be preferable to its predecessor on paper, but in practice could remind why we can't have nice things.


What does 'most deserving' Playoff team mean?

The College Football Playoff committee should clarify exactly what it means here.


Playoff Top 25 to release on Tuesdays

Beginning on October 28. Let's argue about the upcoming rankings for like half a week, every week!


Peach Bowl back

There is no more delicious string of words than "Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl."


The case for the Playoff committee

The NFL routinely rewards undeserving champions and gives playoff spots to inferior teams. College football's Playoff structure has a number of flaws, but the use of human judgment as opposed to impersonal rules isn't one of them.


CFB Playoff, presented by Pony



Glendale, Tampa to host Playoff championships

Glendale will have a semifinal and final in back-to-back years.


8 things we learned about the Playoff

The College Football Playoff is a year away from announcing its first field of four teams, but speculation about future speculation is already beginning. After a week in New York City, we are slightly more informed about how to speculate.


What to like (and not like) about the Playoff

We know it's not perfect, but here's what those behind the new College Football Playoff system got right and wrong.


CFP selection committee to release team rankings

The College Football Playoff has officially announced its selection committee members, though the names have been widely known for more than a week now.


Hypothetical Playoff committee, 1998-2012

And does it even matter who's on it, if nobody's representing math or mid-majors anyway? Much of the time, the committee will end up arguing about one Playoff team, not four.


Reported Rice selection controversial

Running down the criticisms of the proposed playoff committee selection.


Pat Dye slams Condi Rice's football knowledge

Pat Dye follows David Pollack in criticizing the selection of the former Secretary of State.


Condi Rice, 12 others on CFB Playoff committee

The College Football Playoff's selection committee isn't going to select itself. We'll update this page over time, as more details emerge about the committee's requirements.


Playoff expansion? Kelly, Petersen eye more than 4

Since four is pretty much the smallest number of teams that can be in a playoff system, we're beginning to hear calls for expanding the new College Football Playoff to eight or even 16 teams, although Bill Hancock says it won't happen before 2026.


Spilly does Chick-fil-A

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, to be exact. Yummm, quadruple-fried chicken and mystery soup!


Eye of Sauron wins Playoff logo poll



Hancock: Playoff at 4 teams through ESPN deal

The College Football Playoff is staying at four teams for the length of the ESPN contract, according to quotes from the executive director.


College football playoff details announced

The college football championship game is to be titled the College Football Championship Game.


Bill Hancock has always loved the Playoff

Bill Hancock, widely regarded by all as a very nice man, spent years spreading the word that a college football playoff would wreck the sport. Now, he's singing its praises.


Fiesta, Cotton, Chick-fil-A to host playoff semis

The three sites join the Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowls in the playoff semifinal rotation.


Info on College Football Playoff, logos revealed

More information on the upcoming college football playoff was revealed at a press conference Monday night.


Dallas lands first playoff title game

Cowboys Stadium will be the first site of a college football title game decided in a four-team playoff system.


College football playoff has a name

Wednesday, we'll know where playoff games will be played, and Thursday we'll learn more about the selection committee.


If football had Madness

Let's say all Division I college football teams, FBS and FCS alike, got to compete for a single national championship. Here's what that could look like.


What football can learn from Madness

College football is a hold-out in the statistical revolution and for some legitimate reasons, but there is one major area for improvement: the rankings. MORE: Sports Illustrated college football playoff roundtable features SB Nation.


SI playoffs roundtable features SB Nation

The college football selection committee is going to be under a lot of pressure to get the correct teams. A group of experts got together to discuss the right way to do it.


For none of the Tostitos

The new four-team playoff will have a name that will be bereft of a corporate sponsor.


Smaller conferences create playoff revenue plan

College football's smaller conferences won't be shut out from the money generated by the college football playoffs, but they will be battling for the biggest shares.


How small bowls can survive the playoff

With an unprecedented opportunity to rewrite some of bowl season's worst rules, we offer a few suggestions.


College football playoff rotation set thru 2026

The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the first two national semifinal games in 2015, with four other bowls joining the rotation schedule that extends through 2026.


ESPN paying $5 billion for CFB playoffs

The media giant paid a pretty penny to have exclusive broadcast rights to all six "contract bowls."


ESPN locks up new Sugar Bowl

Regardless of how the new post-season format shakes out, ESPN has now locked in agreements with the Sugar and Rose Bowls until 2026.


The new playoffs, 1998 to 2012

College football's initial playoff plan is juuuuuuuuust about finalized. With Monday's new details now set, let's try once again to see what the field would've looked like throughout the history of the BCS.


College playoff system has 1 spot for little guys

... at varying levels. If college football's new playoff ends up functioning how the BCS power conferences want it to, it'll still be unfair and top-heavy. However, the little guys will at least have an official, guaranteed shot. Also however, MONEY!


Seventh playoff bowl unlikely

Less powerful conferences want the coming college football playoff system's top level to include more bowls, but there's a reason they're less powerful conferences. Also, money money money money money money money money.


College playoff worth $500 million?

Negotiations are ongoing, but ESPN has reportedly offered nearly $500 million a year for the broadcast rights to the college football playoff.


Sugar Bowl named site of Champions Bowl

New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be the site of the new Champions Bowl, between the SEC and Big 12, beginning in 2014.


We have a playoff emergency

Once college football's powers-that-be agreed to implement a four-team playoff, they should have immediately set about putting one into place for the 2012 season. Instead, we're staring a nightmare scenario in the face.


Dallas, New Orleans still battling for Champions

Dallas and New Orleans are currently deadlocked in a race for the rights to host the Champions Bowl, according to Jeremy Fowler of

The Champions Bowl, set for Jan. 1, 2015, would feature the winner of the SEC versus the winner of the Big 12 as part of the new playoff format for the end of the 2014 college football season.

Previously, it was reported that Houston had submitted the highest bid for the bowl, with Atlanta and San Francisco also under consideration. It appears that a month later, Dallas and New Orleans have separated from the pack during this week's meetings between the two conferences.

The Champions Bowl will also be featured in the semi-final rotation four times during the 12-year arrangement of the FBS playoff format, with alternate teams being selected should either of the conference champions proceed to the national semi-finals.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has said that a decision likely won't come until the end of the month.


College Football Playoffs Could Include 8 Bowls, Says Big Ten Commish Jim Delany

With a new playoff system set to be implemented for the end of the 2014 NCAA football season, there have been questions about how many bowl games the new system will feature. According to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, it's possible the new system could feature eight bowl games as well as the national championship game.

Delany told the Wall Street Journal about the possible revision to the six bowl proposal that was originally approved in June meetings. In the original proposal there was to be six bowls, not including a national title game, with the two semifinals games rotating between the six bowl locations.

Per the Wall Street Journal, concerns about the access of smaller conferences to the system prompted the BCS leaders to reconsider their proposal. They will reportedly meet this week to discuss the new possible bowl additions as well as revenue sharing.

The Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and Champions Bowl have all been voted to be included while the remaining bowls in the new postseason system have yet to be determined.

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Champions Bowl Bid By Houston The Highest, According To Report

Houston has submitted the highest bid for the rights to host the Champions Bowl, according to a report by Mark Blaudschun via Twitter on Wednesday.

The Champions Bowl, set for Jan. 1, 2015, was thought to be down to New Orleans and Arlington, Texas. Atlanta and San Antonio are other potential candidates. Cities that were extended the invitation to bid for the chance to host the inaugural game that either decided not to or have not, as of yet, include Orlando, Jacksonville, Nashville, Tampa and Phoenix.

Created by the SEC and Big 12 as a postseason haven for their respective conference champions, the Champions Bowl will also be part of the national semifinal rotation four times during the system's 12-year arrangement. If either or both conference champions make it to the national semifinals, alternate teams would be selected to the Champions Bowl in their places.

The final decision on the site will not be made until later this month.

For more on the Champions Bowl and other college football, please be sure to check out our College Football hub and for all the latest news and updates.


SEC/Big 12 Champions Bowl Bidding Could Be Down To 3 Cities

When last we looked at the list of 10 cities that had reportedly received requests to send in Champions Bowl hosting proposals, here's how we ranked the likelihood of each locale landing the game: Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, and that's it. And would you look at how it's shakin' out:

That would mean Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Nashville, San Antonio, Tampa and Jacksonville are lumped in one way or another in the latter groups, based on McMurphy's previous report.

The SEC and Big 12's Champions Bowl has emerged as a sudden rival to the Rose Bowl, with the new guys informing the world that their bowl will likewise be played on New Year's Day. Despite never fielding a single matchup or even picking a host city, it's already locked in as one of the six playoff bowls under the 2014 system. Swag.

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Champions Bowl Proposals Requested From 10 Cities, Including 1 In Arizona

The new SEC and Big 12 partnership bowl, still tentatively titled the Champions Bowl (yep, still calling it that), needs a host city. A couple weeks ago, the conferences sent out requests for proposals from a list of cities, and now we have that list:

Let's go ahead and POWER RANK these.

  1. Dallas: Jerry Jones has a lot of money, and really likes spending it. It's also the highest-profile football town that's in the footprints of both conferences and home to the Cotton, already a major SEC/Big 12 bowl.
  2. New Orleans: The SEC's biggest bowl game is already in Nola, and everybody likes Nola.
  3. Atlanta: If we don't get it, I'm blaming Chick-fil-A anyway, since their controversy-mired brand name is stuck to the city's bowl hopes.
  4. Ha Ha Nobody Else Is Going To Get This Game: Let's be serious, friends.

Your turn: please concoct a scenario in which Phoenix, a city in Arizona, gets a bowl game automatically including the SEC champion. Do your worst!

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'Champions Bowl' Could Land In Dallas Or Atlanta, Could Force Big 12 Title Game

What's the "Champions Bowl?" We're soon to find out more, including where it will be played and possibly some conference realignment ramifications.


ESPN Could Score Entire College Football Playoffs System

Somebody's about to pay a whole lot of money to air college football's new playoff, and it might just be exactly who you'd expect to go and do such a thing. The Sporting News' Matt Hayes reports ESPN is the clear frontrunner:

The total payout for the new playoff, beginning with the 2014 season, could be as much as $600 million a year-or $7.2 billion over the 12-year contract. Another BCS source told SN that ESPN, which has dominated the television landscape in the sport, is "closing in" on landing the entire television package.

That might be for the best. The last thing we need is Fox getting ahold of it and creating CGI marching bands of potato chip bags to air during kickoffs, and ESPN has the most experience with this sort of thing, and it also would probably just mean ABC, and I love Brent Musburger.

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Can Notre Dame And The ACC Squeeze Out A Decent Orange Bowl Together?

How could the ACC and Notre Dame make this Orange Bowl thing work? They might need to involve another conference as well, and even then it still might not make for great games.


For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame blog One Foot Down.


Notre Dame, ACC Meeting Likely Involves Orange Bowl Somehow

The debate has been underway for decades now: When will Notre Dame join a conference, and which one? The Big Ten was the favorite for decades (literally), but now the argument centers on the Big 12 and the ACC. The former could offer an independent-friendly spirit, considering Texas' largesse, while the latter offers similar universities and a couple former rivals.

Clemson site Tiger Illustrated reported Sunday that the Irish and the ACC have met, but not necessarily that conference realignment is the entire agenda.

Remember the ACC's new Orange Bowl deal, which gives the league half-ownership of a bowl that's included in the new playoff plan's big six bowls? A Notre Dame-ACC bowl would be a valuable property, and a win for both sides. The Irish could be guaranteed a spot at the table -- provided they win, say, nine games or achieve a certain ranking -- and the ACC could have a bowl that would do numbers, whether we like it or not. And often better numbers than it could get if it paired with the Big East's champ, an at-large, or the SEC's runner-up. If people watched the Champs Sports Bowl pairing of FSU and Notre Dame last year (and they did), they'd certainly watch the same game featuring the ACC's champ.

But that's all speculation for now.

For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame blog One Foot Down.

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Rose Bowl, Champions Bowl Not Committed To Regular Playoff Rotation, According To Report

The Rose Bowl and the Champions Bowl have not committed to join the playoff rotation for semifinal sites for the newly-formed college football playoffs beginning in 2014, according to reports.

If six bowls are used in rotation as sites for the semifinals over the course of the 12-year contract of the playoffs, each bowl should expect to host four times total. The language in Tuesday's ACC/Orange Bowl release suggested that the number of semifinals played at each site may not be distributed evenly, however saying that "it's anticipated that the Orange Bowl will host at least four semifinal games."

The Rose Bowl, pitting the Big Ten and Pac 12 conference champions, and the Champions Bowl, pitting the winners of the Big 12 and SEC, have incentive to keep their games separate. The two bowls may be able to draw more attention and money by maintaining their conference tie-ins. The Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Chick-fil-A (or whoever) bowls would stand to gain as well, with more opportunities to take center stage.

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New Orange Bowl Deal Means Florida State Would Be Crazy To Leave The ACC

The BCS may be dead, but the power conferences didn't give up any of their guaranteed seats at the table. And no team has a better chance to take advantage of the new arrangement than FSU. Is that worth making less money?

For more on FSU football, visit Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


What If College Football Is Already Planning A 12-Team Playoff?

The playoff selection committee is also taking charge of four other marquee bowl matchups, making for a six-game New Year's blowout. Which means we're just a flip of a switch away from a 12-team playoff, instead of a four-team playoff.


Big Pimpin': College Football Playoffs Still Don't Help Players

Fans rejoiced with the announcement that college football will decide its national champion with a four-team playoff. But with all the new money potentially flowing from the decision, will the presidents and commissioners think about the players?


College Football Playoffs: Selection Committee Picking 'Big 6' Bowls Too

We don't yet know all six bowls that will be included in the eventual six-bowl event that'll give us the college football semifinal round, but we know the Rose, Orange, and some sort of SEC/Big 12 pairing will be included. The Chick-fil-A, Capital One, Fiesta, Sugar, and Cotton will certainly all be considered for those last three spots.

Now here's a potentially cool new detail: the selection committee that's picking the four playoff teams will also line up teams for those four bowls that don't get semifinals.

The Rose and the Champions will take the top teams from their associated conferences, and the Orange will take the ACC champ. Other than that, it could be wide open, since bowls are going to have to do whatever the new regime wants in order to be included in the six-bowl thing -- and every bowl really, really wants to be included in the six-bowl thing.

Don't expect this to throw the doors open for deserving mid-majors, but it could go a small way to making sure elite teams from non-power conferences at least get top bowl bids.

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College Football Playoff Schedule Should Look Familiar

There's a new system, but college football will have pretty much the same old schedule.

The bowl season should look familiar when the four-team playoff begins in 2014, with semifinals taking place on or around New Year's Day. The final will also be right around the time the BCS Championship has been played, coming just a little over a week after the two teams are set.

From Stewart Mandel:

The problem, of course, lies in the quick turnaround from the semifinal to the final. Fans will have to be quick on the draw -- or assume their favorite team is championship-bound -- when figuring out travel arrangements. It's another step, but one that many fans will likely find worth it in the grand scheme of things.

For schools, there will be a bit of travel involved. The semifinals will take place at a rotating cast of bowls, chosen from six sites. Those bowls are not set, though we do know two of them at the moment:

If you're worried about the new system's impact on academics, most schools should be toward the end of winter break during the playoff period.

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College Football Playoffs Are Here: 4-Team System Begins In 2014

The long, slow climb toward the inevitable college football four-team playoff system has finally reached its summit. On Tuesday, BCS commissioners presented their playoff recommendations to college presidents. The proposals have been voted on, and the final word is now official.

At 6 p.m ET on Tuesday, the presidents and commissioners stood together at a press conference to officially announce the creation of a new system featuring a four-team seeded playoff, which will go into effect beginning in the 2014-15 season. The new playoff contract is set to last 12 years.

The new playoff system will involve two semifinal games played at existing bowl sites, followed by a national championship game. The semifinal sites will rotate between six bowl games, though the rotation has not yet been set.

Virginia Tech Hokies President Charles W. Steger called the new system a "best of both worlds" scenario at the press conference, claiming that the system introduces a playoff while preserving the integrity of the traditional bowl system.

There are still certain details that need to be finalized, but the most important bit of news was Tuesday's announcement. For the first time in the 100-plus-year history of the Division I/FBS system, college football will have a four-team playoff.

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Devil's Advocate: What Would've Been So Bad About A Plus-One Playoff?

The plus-one game isn't going to be the playoff answer, much to the college football fan's delight. But what did we hate about the plus-one so much, anyway?


College Football Playoffs: 6 Bowls To Share Hosting Duties, According To

Next week could see the all-but-final adoption of a college football playoff plan, with BCS commissioners presenting to college presidents their four-team playoff recommendation on June 26.'s Andy Staples reports on what that plan will look like, with six bowls splitting up hosting rights.

The Rose and Champions are obvious, with the Orange's ACC tie also included. As for the others, Staples has the Chick-fil-A , Cotton, Fiesta and Sugar as in the running. Though the Sugar could end up also being the Champions, depending on how the SEC and Big 12 figure they can make the most money.

Also from Staples, more details on how the bracket works in general:

  • A 12-year agreement for a four-team, seeded tournament beginning in the 2014 season. No. 1 will play No. 4, No. 2 will play No. 3, and the winners of those games will meet for the title.
  • The tournament will include the top four teams regardless of conference champion status.
  • The seminfinals will be played in bowls, and six bowls will share hosting duties during a 12-year period.
  • The championship game will be put out for bids.

Once Nebraska's Harvey Perlman and a couple others perhaps from the Big Ten grandstand for a little while about how quickly we're hurtling into the future, the whole thing should be approved, and then it'll be off to figure out TV rights and how to split up the money. Sounds easy.

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SitRep: Mysterious, Impending College Football Playoff

The mission to achieve a college football playoff has been accomplished. This debrief provides the bare minimum of what you need to know.


College Football Playoffs Will Still Provide Plenty To Be Mad About

So college football is getting itself a shiny new playoff. We don't know who will be on a playoff selection committee, but we can begin to look at the questions the committee will face from year to year.


BCS Commissioners Achieve Consensus On 4-Team College Football Playoff

The BCS conference commissioners have agreed to a consensus on a four-team playoff. They're not releasing specifics yet, and university presidents still have to agree to the playoff system.


College Football Playoffs: ACC Hopes For June 26 Development

When, oh, when will college football's playoff debate finally yield a four-team format? The most optimistic observers have cast June 26 as the earliest possible date, as that's when league commissioners will present their proposal to school presidents, who have the final say here. Now there's talk of the thing dragging out through September as the Big Ten and Pac-12 engage in a little brake-pumping.

But check out who's looking on the bright side here. The ACC:

Swofford said he hopes the commissioners will be able to present a four-team playoff to the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C., next week. The presidents' committee, which is chaired by Virginia Tech's Charles W. Steger and includes 12 university presidents, will ultimately decide where college football's postseason is headed.

The ACC seems to side near the middle on most of the remaining issues, so from John Swofford's perspective, the big remaining hangups might not appear all that big.

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A College Football Playoff Changes Nothing (And Why That's Great)

College football will have some sort of playoff system in place by 2014. But will it be a success? That depends on what exactly you're looking for from college football.


College Football Playoffs: Multiple 'Options' To Be Presented In 2 Weeks

We might still be on track for June 26 being an important date in the great college football debate (internal rhyme), but it doesn't appear that'll be the day the whole format of games gets worked out. Based on remarks made by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott during Wednesday's BCS meetings, that'll just be the next step along the way:

Options could mean anything from who's on the selection committee to whatever plan Jim Delany is proposing right this very second (the top three teams from each major pro sports league, plus a slice of Little Caesars pizza). As for the horrifying plus-one spectre that Scott's advanced in the past:

Truly chilling!

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Watch 'Shutdown Fullback' Enjoy Game Show Week!

The world's only college football show is now also the world's only game show, with the college football playoffs upper hand being awarded to this week's lucky winner. (There is no lucky winner.)


Choosing The Choosers: Recommending College Football's Playoff Selection Committee

College football looks like it's going to need a playoff selection committee. Lots of retired coaches want in, but what other options do we have?


College Football Playoffs: Big Ten Favors Selection Committee, Opens Compromise Door

The SEC and Big 12 are in favor of college football's playoff allowing entry to the top four teams in the country, regardless of whether those teams have won their conferences or not. The other major conferences, plus the Big East, want league champs only. The SEC's saying it "won't compromise" on the matter, with Mike Slive listing his backup plan as "1-2-3-4."

But could there be space for compromise if the system uses a selection committee instead of a computer rankings system? The Big Ten now officially wants to go the committee route:

The league wants the committee to enter its deliberations with some instructions, much like a jury has during a trial. The Big Ten wants the committee to value league championships, head-to-head results and strength of schedule, much like the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection committee does. The committee wouldn't write off non-champions or non-division winners, but those shortcomings would impact a team's résumé or potential tiebreakers between two teams.

As far as I know, only the Big East has come out in favor of sticking with rankings instead of a committee. As far as the Big 12 and SEC go, Texas' DeLoss Dodds favors a committee, which goes a long way to determining how half of that bloc will argue.

Either we end up with a "three-and-one" plan, as's Stewart Mandel advocates, or we get a committee that's specifically told it should admit deserving non-champs, but favor champs. Right?

(Or Bo Pelini can huff and puff until the whole thing crumbles.)

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College Football Playoff Battle Hopefully Settled By June 26

At Big 12 meetings on Friday, outgoing boss Chuck Neinas said he hopes conferences can "come to a conclusion" about college football's four-team playoff plan by June 26, just a few days later than the mark we'd heard earlier in the process.

Either way, the day of reckoning is nigh and battle lines are clear. The SEC and Big 12 want the top four teams in the playoff. The Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big East want conference champs only. The former says it "won't compromise" on the issue.

There are relatively minor contentions as well, all of which will still be important. Some Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC entities have called for a selection committee, while the Big East wants strictly rankings-based entry. The Big Ten has given up on its proposal for games to be played at campus sites, meaning bowls for semifinals and bid-out title games is the likely move.

And, yes, it will be a four-team deal. Larry Scott's plus-one remark essentially amounted to a slip brought on by Rose Bowl East excitement.

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SEC To Recommend Specific Playoff Plan, Stick With 6-1-1 Scheduling


SEC Coaches On Playoffs, Permanent Rivalries, Big 12 Expansion

It's time for SEC meetings, which means lots of college football coaches saying things on the issues of the day.


College Football Playoffs: Bowl Hosts Likely To 'Float,' Reportedly

Now that the Big Ten has abandoned its call for college football playoff semifinalists to get to host games, we're back to the plan by which each conference would be tied to a playoff bowl, with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds getting to host semifinal games at those bowl sites, Dennis Dodd reports. For example, last year LSU would've hosted Stanford or Oregon at the Sugar Bowl, instead of some predetermined bowl that could've been in Florida, California or Arizona.

Anything involving floats would give the Sugar Bowl an advantage anyway, via Mardi Gras, right?

Kind of funny to think the Big Ten would rather send teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan all the way to Los Angeles for home field advantage, rather than letting them stay at home, but tradition's like that. Dodd reports the SEC's tie with the Sugar Bowl is actually the most prominent component here.

The Rose would surely host either the Pac-12 or Big Ten's highest representative, while the SEC and Big 12 have paired to create a new bowl that could replace either the Sugar or Fiesta under the new arrangement. No other bowl has a definite playoff tie-in already established for 2014 and beyond.

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College Football Playoffs: Big East Opposes Committee, Favors Champions

Next up on the list of conferences weighing in on the key issues still surrounding college football's coming playoff system: the Big East. While they're definitively no longer a power conference, they do retain BCS status for two more years and include a few schools (Boise State, Louisville, South Florida) that have had their shots at the top over the past decade.

By wanting to go with standings instead of a committee, the Big East is at odds with certain major Big Ten and Big 12 representatives. However, preferring conference champions puts the Big East in league with the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC and at odds with the SEC.

If a champs-only playoff had been in place for the entire BCS era, No. 6 Louisville would've made it in in 2006.


SEC-Big 12 Alliance Should Be A Rivalry Series, Not Just A Bowl Game

The new bowl game partnership between the Big 12 and SEC is neat and all, but we could be just a couple moves away from something huge.


Big 12 And SEC Announce Major Bowl Partnership

The Big Ten and Pac-12 aren't the only major football conferences with official buddies now. The SEC and Big 12 have linked arms -- setting up a "new January bowl tradition," as Mike Slive calls it -- pairing their conference champions or runners-up beginning in 2014.

While SEC and Big 12 champs missing the playoffs would be a very, very rare event, the importance here is that the two have effectively created another Rose Bowl, and one that would quite often trump the Granddaddy, at least in terms of highly-ranked football teams. It also creates a very clearly defined upper tier in college football, with everyone from the ACC on down all but walled off from the highest level.

The joint release from the new best buds (how awkward will group dates be with Mizzou and Texas A&M in the SEC?):

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced a five-year agreement for their football champions to meet in a postseason bowl game following the 2014 season.

The champions of the two conferences will be in the matchup unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship. Should that occur, another deserving team from the conference(s) would be selected for the game.

"A new January bowl tradition is born," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."

"Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year's Day prime-time tradition," commented acting Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football."

"I am very excited by the prospects for a game between our champion and the champion of the Southeastern Conference," added incoming Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

During the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series, the Big 12 and SEC lead the nation with 11 seasons in which each conference has had at least one team ranked in the top four of the final BCS standings. Both conferences share the top spot all-time with 14 teams each that have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings. The two conferences have combined for 16 appearances in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Big 12 ranking second behind the SEC's nine appearances with seven trips to the National Championship Game.

The two league champions have met twice in BCS bowl games since 1998, both in BCS National Championship Games. In 2010, Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21, in Pasadena, Calif., and in 2009, Florida defeated Oklahoma, 24-14, in Miami, Fla.

Specific details, including host site(s), will be announced at a later date.


SEC, Big 12 Champions To Meet In Bowl If Neither Makes Playoff, According To Report

The Rose Bowl is the most important thing in the world, apparently. The Big Ten has sacrificed its own potential playoff advantage just to make the Rose Bowl remain as important as possible, with the Pac-12 going along. Now the SEC and the Big 12 are cooking up something that would be just as big as the Rose, if not blessed with quite the history:

That could be a deal that would add the Big 12 champ into what could amount to a version of a travelin' Sugar Bowl, though the Sugar itself is expected to be part of the playoff format. Or just a Cotton Bowl with a little more on the line. This could be a move to get the Cotton into the "six-bowl event" Stewart Mandel reported.

(Of course, the important thing to note is that both the SEC and Big 12 champs missing the playoffs would almost never happen. The Big Ten is having a hard enough time keeping the SEC runner-up out of the tournament.)

Tony Barnhart reports the SEC will make the announcement in about an hour.


College Football Playoffs: No Campus Games, Says Michigan State AD

College football's playoff system will not involve games played on home sites, Michigan St. Spartans athletic director Mark Hollis says. Letting teams have home-field advantage doesn't square with the Big Ten's mission to ensure the Rose Bowl remains as big a part of the postseason as possible, though decision-makers also previously cited concerns about whether college stadiums could handle college football games.

Ironically, this also surely pleases the SEC, which now no longer has to worry about playing tournament games up north. Though that wouldn't happen all that often based on previous years, plenty of Big Ten fans have wanted to see whether Southern teams can handle the road trip for a change. If semifinals games are going to end up tying into current BCS bowls, Southern teams will continue to enjoy the relative home edge.

The playoffs get lamer and lamer by the day, don't they?


College Football Playoffs: ACC Favors Conference Champs, Says Jimbo Fisher

So far, the Big Ten and Pac-12 are united in favoring conference champions only in college football's eventual playoff system. The SEC opposes, as it should, while others have yet to publicly state their cases. And here we might have the first instance of the SEC and ACC disagreeing on a playoff issue:

The SEC and ACC were the first two conferences to propose a playoff in the first place.

This stance would obviously make sense for the ACC, as anything that would make it possible for teams ranked lower than the top four to make the playoffs would benefit the league. A champs-only format would've benefitted the ACC in 2003, when No. 7 Florida State would've made the cut at the expense of No. 1 Oklahoma (how smart is that?).

As far as I can tell, that's the only change that would happen in the ACC's favor. If Jim Delany's top-six plan were instituted, there would be no change over the last decade.


College Football Playoffs: Bill Hancock Says Major Issues 'About Divided 50/50'

College football's getting a playoff, and conference commissioners are currently hearing from their member schools on what sort of playoff each league would prefer. BCS executive director Bill Hancock, having stepped down from his role as the sport's Wizard of Oz, now seems free to talk about actual discussions had by actual people, rather than hammering home an unpopular party line.

While on with WFNZ in Charlotte, Hancock talked about a couple of the biggest issues, listing the conference champions thing as perhaps the most disputed so far. He also downplayed the chances of an eventual eight-team playoff, but that sort of already feels hard to avoid. Via Sports Radio Interviews:

On the time frame for finalizing a playoff format:

"Well it's always good and helpful to talk about the time frame, and first of all there's still two more years to go on the current agreement. But the rest of the time frame is: during the next couple of months the conferences will be talking about the future and I hope by early summer we will be able to announce a change in the BCS."

On what the format might look like:

"It's a very interesting question. And when the commissioners elected to present this four-team playoff concept to the conferences, they intentionally didn't resolve that as well as where to play the games and how the teams are selected. And I'll be curious at the end of this to see what your listeners are thinking about it. But generally, there's up sides and down sides to everything. Obviously if you have 1, 2, 3 and 4, you've got a pure bracket: 1 versus 4 and 2 versus 3. But if you take the conference champions - the top four ranked conference champions - then the regular season, which is the best in sports anyway, may mean even more. But then you would have a question about, ‘Well, what about No. 2 Alabama?' This year, if it had been the conference champions, it would've been teams ranked 1, 3, 5 and 10. And is that what the public wants to see? I really don't know. From what I've heard, folks are about divided 50/50 on it."

On schools potentially having the ability to play home games in the playoff:

"There's still a long way to go in our conversations, so we're not to the end of the game yet and that certainly is one of the things that is still on the table. I was director of the Final Four before I went to work in football and we experienced it in basketball back in the eighties. Which was too much of a home-court advantage in basketball, and so we went away from it in basketball. And I don't know what the response will be in football after awhile. Will people decide that the 1 and 2 teams have earned too much of an advantage? I dunno. And another thing is the infrastructure on campuses may leave something to be desired. And would you have the celebratory pageantry of a postseason event on campus? That's an unknown. But of course one of the advantages to campus play is you're assured of a huge crowd of enthusiastic fans. And another one is, if you're dealing with semifinals and a championship, then if the home team wins of course then their fans have not had to travel across the country two different weeks, a week apart, to go to these games."

On who is involved in this decision and where they're leaning:

"There's 11 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame AD. That's basically the board that runs the BCS. And I wouldn't hazard a guess as to where they are on this. They haven't come to a final conclusion. But they're split. It's safe to say that - they're split. ... The commissioners will collaboratively come to some agreement about what the format should be. There won't be a vote - they will just sit and talk it through until they come up with something that everybody can live with."

On the likelihood that this is a stepping stone to an eight-team postseason:

"I don't think it's likely. I don't wanna speak for the next 30 years, but I don't think it's likely."


College Football Playoff Plans Officially Narrowed To 4-Team Proposals

The BCS has made its' official announcement regarding the future of college football's playoff: two to seven four-team playoff plans will now be taken back to the conferences for further discussion. Two-team plans, eight-team plans and 16-team plans have been ruled out*. But the biggest news here is that a four-team playoff beginning in 2014 is all but unavoidable now.

BCS director Bill Hancock called the development a "seismic change," saying conferences are "listening to the fans."

Automatic qualifications for certain conferences will be done away with, Hancock also announced, rendering a portion of the latest conference realignment scramble moot. This means all conferences will hypothetically have a fair shot at making the tournament.

Concrete decisions will begin to be made later in the summer. Hancock hopes for July. Plenty remains to be squabbled over, chief being who gets which slice of money. Conferences will also need to work out where to play the games (on-campus games are still alive, said Hancock), how to choose which teams get to play, the fates of the bowl games and when exactly games will happen.

And, officially, that Rose Bowl plan the Big Ten proposed is not going to happen.

The full statement from the BCS:

"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."

* Yes, this mean we can start advocating for a 32-team playoff, but we're not going to get very far.


Big Ten's College Football Playoff Support May Actually Be Real

With the Pac-12 and Big 12 formally or informally lending their support to the push for a college football playoff, an abandoned joint project of the SEC and ACC from a few years ago, only one power league has remained opposed. And that could be changing, with two Big Ten athletic directors telling the Associated Press it's time to think about a playoff system that still leaves the bowls intact.

The AP quotes Michigan St. Spartans AD Mark Hollis ("All of the Big Ten athletic directors are comfortable exploring the possibility of a four-team playoff") and his Ohio St. Buckeyes counterpart, Gene Smith ("It's time to be curious about everything").

The Big Ten's favored postseason plan, reported by the Chicago Tribune, calls for home field advantage for the top two semifinalists, with bowls remaining as they are. That would leave the Rose Bowl in working condition for the time being, satisfying Jim Delany's primary public concern with the whole ordeal.

And with the Pac-12 and Big Ten entering a long-term partnership, it's not out of the question that the Rose could become a joint property of the two conferences at some point, further ... well, further solving all that stuff even more. It would be so darn solved.

For more wholesomeness, visit Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire.


If playoff doesn't help players? No thanks

College football needs fundamental changes. But a playoff? That's just something selfish fans want when they should focus on what's most important: helping the players get what they deserve.


BCS National Champion Will Be Crowned Via Playoff System Soon, According To Report

The BCS National Champion could soon be determined by a playoff system.


Pac-12, Big Ten Support Plus-One Bowl Format For College Football, According To Report

Athletics directors for the two conferences have apparently embraced the notion of the most limited form of a playoff. If college presidents back them up on the proposal, it could reshape the college postseason.


Mark Shurtleff Summoning Legal Team For BCS Antitrust Battle

After announcing that he would file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is now seeking law firms to join his case against the football entity. The Deseret News reported that Shurtleff's office filed a request of information on a government website designed for law firms. Readers are directed to this link to see the filing.

From there it is possible to read the 11-page filing, which includes a list of questions to be answered. Outside of fee arrangements, the questions ask if the answering law firm has had experience litigating the BCS or similar institutions.

Respondents have until Aug. 8 to submit their paperwork, so we shouldn't expect anything a legal team to appear overnight and challenge the BCS immediately. However, the BCS will also need to look out for the United States Department of Justice, which will hold a meeting with BCS officials on June 30.

Just don't get any hopes up of a change to the current bowl setup. It will likely take years for anything to come of this.

For more college football, visit SB Nation’s NCAA Football hub.

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