The BCS announced a four team, six bowl playoff structure which includes a guaranteed spot to the so called “group of five” non-BCS conferences ((Mountain West, Big East, MAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA). The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee approved the plan yesterday in a meeting in Denver, Colorado.
The initial plan calls for a national semi-finals each year which will be rotated between the six bowl games meaning four bowl games and two “playoff” games. There will be three “contract” bowls and three yet to be determined “host” bowls’. The championship game will be contracted outside the bowl sphere to a different “host” city each year similar to the Super Bowl.
The five major BCS conferences are guaranteed spots in the playoff series through the “contract’ bowls. The highest rated team from the “group of five” conferences is guaranteed a spot in one of the three” host” bowls which have yet to be determined. The remaining five slots will be filled from an at-large pool based on final rankings with a still to be determined formula.
The three “contract” bowls are the Sugar, pitting the SEC and Big 12 champions, the Rose, which pairs the Pac 12 and Big 10 champions, and the Orange, which hosts the ACC champion and an SEC or Big 10 team or Notre Dame. What this means is the SEC and Big 10 are guaranteed two spots each year while the Big 12 and PAC 12 are guaranteed only one apiece.
There was initial fear among the lesser conferences that they might be excluded from the new playoff series, but those fears were assuaged with the announcement of this plan.
“I think it’s all fair” according to Texas University President Bill Powers. “A lot of hard work went into this.”
“They did it with a smile on their face,” said Nebraska chancellor Harvey Pearlman said. ‘They thought it was fair.”
The identity of the “host” bowls still has yet to be decided but likely candidates include the Fiesta, the Chik-Fil-A, and the Cotton bowls.
The five major BCS conferences will equally split the largest share of playoff revenue while the “group of five” smaller conferences will split a smaller share with still to be determined formula.
Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said,
“this is a better plan for us, we’ll work out the revenue.”
an allusion to the Big East’s desire to pull a greater share of that group’s revenue due to perceived greater marketability.
Still to be determined are who will make up the selection committee, how they will rotate the semi-final games, and what they will name this new structure.