After all the conjecture and wringing of hands over what system would replace the Bowl Championship Series, a deal is finally done.
A college football playoff system has been born.
Following a meeting of university presidents from across the country this afternoon with the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, the four-team college football playoff will start in 2014. The status quo will remain in place for the upcoming 2012 and 2013 seasons, with the first playoff, whose teams will be decided by a selection committee, to kick off in 2014.
The agreement states that six bowl games will rotate as the hosts of the semifinal games under a 12-year term. The bidding process for the championship game each year will stand alone from the bidding process between the six bowls for each year’s semi-final games.
As we reported previously on Rant Sports, the potential payoff in terms of a new television contract for the playoff series promises to be astronomical and could be a giant boon not only for the NCAA and the networks, but in a residual way to the conferences and their member schools that make it into the playoff. In other words, the richer will become the richest.
The selection committee promises to be the most contentious and divisive issue within the new system, as it’s almost impossible to imagine how the committee itself will be selected without cries of injustice being screamed from the rooftops across the football landscape.
The makeup, and size, of the selection committee has yet-to-be-determined, but it’s reasonable to assume that it’s complexion will mirror what is already used by collegiate basketball in selecting it’s spring 68-team spectacle, but obviously not to the same degree.
Arguments will certainly abound in coming months whether the system is just a stop-gap measure to replace the BCS for the short-term and move into the college game’s most reasonable next incarnation, or, if the playoff system will have long-term sustainability.
It’s a system that will be fluid and dynamic and will almost certainly not look like what we have pictured in our heads when the first game is actually played in 2014.
There are too many moving parts to suggest otherwise.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.