Well, what do you think?
After months of speculation, NCAA presidents today approved a plan that will effectively kill the BCS in 2014, instead instituting a four-team playoff system.
Here are details, and the basics are pretty simple — a seeded four-team playoff with semifinals rotating between six current bowl sites on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (meaning that for now, the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, etc. remain) and the finals at a the site of the highest bidder, be it a current bowl site or somewhere else. The date for the first title game has been set for Jan. 12, 2015. And this is being announced as a 12-year deal. (And since I first published this I see that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott says the Rose Bowl will remain a Pac-12-Big Ten matchup unless it is a semifinal).
One point sure to garner a lot of discussion is that the final four teams will be picked by a selection committee — exactly how that will work remains somewhat unknown as I type this.
My initial thought is that this is merely the first step toward a larger playoff system down the road, even if this is being announced as a 12-year contract — I can’t imagine there won’t be a lot of immediate controversy from teams 5-6-7 that are left out of this and that that won’t eventually lead to an eight- or 16-team playoff. Of course, an issue there will be the workload placed on the “amateur” players — a 16-team playoff could mean as many as 17 games for the teams that get to the finals.
As something of a traditionalist, I haven’t been too bothered by the current system — criticize the BCS all you want, but I don’t think a team has ever won it that wasn’t a deserving national champ. And the current system would have solved issues such as what happened with UW and Miami in 1991.
But those clamoring for a playoff are beginning to get their wish — and the schools will happily sell away a little more tradition for all that glorious cash, with some estimates that this could net up to $5 billion.
SHEPARD TO CALIFORNIA JC — Tee Shepard, a cornerback from Fresno who signed with Notre Dame last February but then left school there shortly after enrolling in the spring, will transfer to College of the Sequoias, according to Scout.com. Shepard visited UW during the spring and there had been speculation he was still considering Washington.