NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10: Bill Hancock the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series and Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide hold The Coaches' Trophy which signifies the national champion after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The BCS is dead.
Well, to be more accurate the BCS will be dead after two more college football seasons.
Nevertheless, the announcement made yesterday in Washington that the 12 university presidents had approved the playoff model proposed by conference commissioners (including Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick of course) is still a cause for much celebration.
Finally, after decades and decades of the most backward and unsatisfactory postseason in all of sports, college football now embraces a playoff.
What's more, the leaders involved in crafting this new playoff actually didn't go out and completely mess the whole idea up. If you know anything about college football and the game's history, you know that this was nothing short of a miracle.
While the proposed plan looks to be drawn up nicely, let's break down some of the finer details and discuss the future of the game a little bit.
I'll take 4 teams for now, although I still think 8 teams would be perfect. I can respect people who want only 4 although I think eventually think the playoff will move to 8 once this initial contract expires (12 years after 2014) and everyone sees the money involved. I also think everyone is going to see how having a playoff enhances a lot of the regular season and many will argue 8 teams will be the perfect balancing point.
Allowing 8 teams in might diminish some of those epic battles of undefeated teams but it will create much more drama for dozens and dozens more games that are otherwise unimportant with today's system or even a 4-team playoff model.
Semifinals Held on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day
Outstanding move by college football here. The ratings are going to be insane.
Playoff Final Held a Week Later on "Championship Monday"
That's a solid name.
Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar Plus Two Other "bowl" sites Will Rotate as Hosts for Semi's
This is the one thing that I'm not really psyched about. I've long contended that it was silly to keep the bowls involved in a playoff, but with just 4 teams it's not as big of a deal. However, if this model ever goes to 8 teams I think it's really stupid to have a team possibly win two "bowl games" and then enter the title game.
Stanford Cardinal 2032 Season: Pac-12 North Division Regular Season Champions, Pac-12 Conference Title Game Champions, Cotton Bowl Champions, Rose Bowl Champions, and National Runner-Up.
Isn't that too much? Doesn't it just create more unneeded confusion?
I actually think this might backfire for the bowl games over the long run, but those bowl leaders probably don't care and will swim in the new money over the next decade and be completely fine with it. No one ever claimed they were visionaries.
You see, if the bowl games weren't part of the playoff to begin with, the country could get used to seeing teams ranked 5 through 12 playing in the traditional major bowls. Sure the executives would cry that this diminishes the bowls (i.e. they make less money) but it would be a good way to keep the playoffs at only 4 teams and have the bowls still be really competitive.
Once the playoff goes to 8 teams (as many predict) I believe everyone is going to get sick of hauling tail all over the country, and losing profit---especially the higher seeded teams who could be hosting games on campus. At that point, the bowl games might just get washed away and forced to host teams outside the top 8 which would effectively make their games much less attractive.
Overall, it just kind of stinks that we're getting a playoff but the same corrupt and sleazy bowl people will be there stealing millions from these universities and football programs.
Cowboys Stadium (aka the Cotton Bowl now) & SEC/Big 12 Champions Bowl Likely Other Two Sites Among the Rotation for Semi's
This had been rumored for quite a while since it was announced a rotating system would be incorporated. I suppose it's just as sleazy as the traditional bowl games, but at least this will bring some much needed fresh air to the games. The games held at these sites are going to be much more entertaining on and off the field than those held in Arizona and Miami.
The Title Game Will Be Bid Out To Different Stadiums Each Year
This was a great decision and almost makes up for using the bowl games for the semifinals.
There Will Be a Selection Committee, Possibly As Many As 15 People
We'll have to wait and see how this evolves and who is placed on the committee, but this is encouraging:
Among the factors the committee will consider are won-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and whether a team is a conference champion. The selection committee will also play a part in creating matchups for the games at the four sites that do not hold a semifinal in a given year.
Sure there will be controversy but I think this is going to go over really, really well. If they stay true to these principles---especially strength of schedule---this will be very good for college football and for Notre Dame.
Automatic Qualifying Status is Gone
Overall, a pretty good move. Anything that gives less meaning to a conference champion is good for the overall health of the game. It will also mean the committee will be able to select a 11-1 Boise State team that may not have won their conference for one of the non-playoff bowls instead of a No. 23 ranked Connecticut team that won the Big East. We all win in that scenario.
The Television Revenue is Expected to Triple the Current $155 Million Under the BCS Bowl System
Bling, bling baby! But again, it's wrong that the universities won't be getting a larger chunk of this money. It's pretty frustrating to see how corrupt these bowl executives have been in the past, and then create a new system that keeps them around AND lines their pockets like never before.
What Does This Mean For Notre Dame?
First, AD Jack Swarbrick proved to be a true leader throughout this whole process. That was really important and he established that power from day one.
Secondly, this should settle the conference realignment for a while and make it less enticing financially to have teams jumping from one league to another. In other words, Notre Dame is staying independent in football.
Thirdly, the conference champions only model that was floated was ultimately nixed and this only strengthens Notre Dame's status as an independent.
Fourthly, the focus on strength of schedule by the selection committee will help Notre Dame immensely in the future.
Not too bad, not too bad at all. This has been a big week for college football and Notre Dame. Jack Swarbrick and University President John Jenkins deserve a lot of credit for being involved in this process.