By now, everybody knows the four-team playoff format was endorsed by Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany. The news came out in early February and gained support among many conferences around the nation. With this format, semifinal BCS championship games would be played at the campuses of the higher-ranked teams and the BCS championship game would rotate a neutral site based on bidding, just like the NFL.
Well, Delany has the support of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. Over the weekend, Scott told the New York Times he supports Delany’s idea of a 4-team postseason playoff.
“There’s a reason that in the N.F.L. they only play the Super Bowl as a neutral-site game,” Scott declared. “There’s a reason they play playoffs and A.F.C. and N.F.C. championships with home hosting.”
Scott was careful with his words, not citing express support for any specific idea, but he is avidly opposed to an eight-team format. Whatever is decided, he is in 100% agreement the BCS system is broken and needs a new beginning.
“So much of the passion of a move to a playoff is to see it earned on the field,” Scott said. “What more clear way to have intellectual consistency with the idea of a playoff than to earn it as a conference champion? It would de-emphasize the highly subjective polls that are based on a coach and media voting and a few computers.”
I’d be outright shocked if major changes are not implemented by the 2014 college football season. Too much is wrong and very little is right. Its good to see more conference commissioners are supporting the ideas for change because talking about it accomplishes nothing without support from the big boys like Scott and Delany.
It may sound crazy, but why not implement a 16-team playoff instead? Make sure every conference plays a championship game and that each conference champion gets an automatic bid. The five at large bids would only come from the 11 losers of the conference championship games, requiring a team to at least win their division to get in. This would weaken the argument that the regular season would lose importance.
Go ahead and let the BCS folks use their system to pick the at large teams and seed the 16-team tournament. They can play the first two rounds at the higher seeded home campuses. There’s no question these games would sell out unlike most bowl games. Allow for two weeks to pass so all remaining bowl games can be played and play the semifinal at two separately bid sites just like the college basketball tournament does. The championship game would also be bid on like Delany initially suggested. Everybody wins.