College Football Playoffs Will Happen

Almost three years ago I wrote about the efforts of many in college sports (and, oddly enough, Congress) to force college football to move from a haphazard series of bowls to a playoff system that will determine a single national college football champion team.

Well it looks like it’s actually happening. According to an article by Mark Schlabach at ESPN:

After meetings Thursday, BCS [Bowl Championship Series] spokesman Bill Hancock said the sport’s 11 FBS conference commissioners would take “two to seven” playoff proposals — each involving four teams — back to their respective university presidents, athletic directors and coaches to discuss for the next five to seven weeks.

So the playoff will happen. What the structure of that playoff looks like is really unclear. The commissioners did agree not to have eight-team or 16-team playoffs. Beyond that, no one really knows what it will look like. Under the current system, as Schlabach explains,

Under current BCS rules, champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC automatically receive a spot in one of the five BCS bowl games — Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Sugar and the Allstate BCS National Championship Game. Champions of Conference USA and the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Western Athletic conferences have to meet other criteria to qualify for a BCS bowl game.

The Byzantine nature of the championships makes it clear why many felt a regular playoff made more sense. Changes won’t go into effect until at least the 2014 season.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer