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Monday, March 01, 2004

BCS Announces Changes: The Bowl Championship Series has announced a few changes to be implemented over the next few seasons, including greater revenue sharing with schools from conferences other than the "Big Six" (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, SEC) and the addition of a fifth BCS game. The moves were made in an attempt to prevent litigation by non-Big Six schools over the distribution of money in college football.

But, as Dennis Dodd writes, Does a 5th BCS Bowl Really Matter? And, as at least two ESPN football experts write, these changes don't solve the bigger problems with college football: namely, the lack of a true play-off.

I am not the only person to write this, but I truly believe that a college football play-off will happen in the not-too-distant future. In my system, the top eight teams are seeded, 1 to 8. Of the (now 5) BCS games, one will have the national championship, two will have semi-finals and two will have quarter-finals. The other 2 quarterfinal games will go to top-tier bowls that are not selected as the 5th BCS bowl (the top 3 contenders seem to be the Cotton, Peach and Holiday). The other bowls (i.e. Capital One, Gator, Independence, Alamo, Outback, Liberty, Sun, Music City) will continue to host games that are just as meaningful as they are now.

The first round of the play-off would be the weekend before Christmas. The semi-finals would be on New Year's Day (returning some importance to that day) and finally, the championship would be one week later, probably on a Saturday night. The schedule would be crafted so as not to conflict with the NFL play-offs, and players would be forced to play one extra week. In addition, many schools do not start classes until the second or third week of January, meaning that many teams may not even miss class.

So, we have seven bowl games that would all have huge revenues, because all would be incredibly meaningful. The other bowl games would lose no prestige off what they have now. And fans would have what they crave- a true national champion.


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