COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive speaks prior to a press conference for the Texas A&M Aggies accepting an invitation to join the Southeastern Conference on September 26, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images)
The mission to achieve a college football playoff has been accomplished. This debrief provides the bare minimum of what you need to know.
TL;WR*: For those of you who won't read this in its short entirety: after meetings between the members of the BCS in Chicago this past week, college football will have a four-team playoff starting in 2014. The four teams will be a "best four" chosen by a selection committee with a preference for conference champions. Semifinals will be played between the existing BCS bowls, and the championship game will be bid out to a neutral site. The proposal still has opponents, but will likely be approved at another meeting next week.
*Too Long; Won't Read
OFFICERS MEETING OBJECTIVES: General Mike Slive fulfilled all orders and requirements of duty. The SEC commissioner's campaign for a playoff finally culminated with victory, and avoided a plus-one scenario. He avoided an outright requirement for conference champions in the final four, skirted the possibility of hosting games on campuses, and helped sway the Big Ten and Pac-12 by opening up to the idea of a selection committee choosing the final four teams.
OFFICERS REQUIRING REVIEW: Larry Scott, Lt. General, Pac-12 Division. An invisible presence in the last stages of the battle, though it's entirely possible he ran out of ammo. Major General Jim Delany displayed admirable poise in a difficult situation, and showed a heretofore unseen flexibility under duress, but still lost a crucial engagement in achieving his objectives.
OFFICERS WHO HELD COFFEE WELL AND NODDED ADMIRABLY. Brigadier General John Swofford held coffee for Gen. Slive with admirable poise, and kept the cup brimming and hot at all times. His nodding was consistently excellent.
KNOWNS: The BCS commissioners came to a historic concord about a plan of attack, and then broke through the lines of stalemate to reach an agreement on a playoff. For now, the proposed playoff will feature the "best four" teams as selected by a committee. The four teams will not necessarily be conference champions by requirement, but a strong preference will be shown to conference champions.
Those lucky four will play semifinal games sometime around Jan. 1, and then conclude business with a final somewhere around Jan. 9.
This arrangement is not final. The proposal will be delivered to a meeting of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee on Tuesday next week in Washington, DC. There will be an examination of other proposals, but that examination will be academic at best. With the blessings of the men delegated to decide the format, the Committee representing the university presidents of the concerned institutions will likely rubber-stamp the plan and approve for a launch in the year 2014.
UNKNOWNS: Revenue sharing remains an unknown, and will be a contentious affair. Rotation of the semifinal games between bowls also remains an unknown, as does the constitution of the selection committee and its hypothetical membership. Expansion of the four-team playoff was not discussed, but then again, the non-expansion of the four-team playoff. The timeframes are unclear to say the least.
CASUALTIES: The advocates of a plus-one. The BCS as we know it, which while never clearly alive is now certainly dead. The non-BCS bowls, who while not dead, did take heavy fire in terms of significance and pull. Unverified but suspected dead, the 12th game -- historically used as a cupcake game by teams -- will now be a weak spot on schedules that teams concerned about resume strength will have to shore up in a hurry. We're talking about the SEC and Big 12. Please note this small victory in the battle records of officers Scott and Delany.
LOGISTICAL REQUESTS FOR FURTHER ACTION: Cash is required, immense amounts unseen in previous campaigns. Requests now sent to ESPN/ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and all others interested. Cash requests also sent to cities interested in hosting said playoff. Send trucks. Lots of them. Full of money.