Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott Leading the Charge for Playoff System

By David LaRose

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has been the emerging leader for new developments within the college football world. He stirred the pot last year when he added two new teams to the Pac-10 making it the Pac-12. He flirted with the idea of becoming the first super conference in college football, creating the Pac-16, but instead settled for two new teams. He also struck the largest media deal for any conference in the country when he signed a 12-year, $3 billion contract with ESPN and FOX.

Well, Scott is at it again.

He is leading the charge to implement a playoff system for college football by the year 2014. Rumors are that the playoff would consist of 4 teams playing the semifinal game at a home site, then playing the championship game at a neutral site. He said that he wants to model their playoff around the NFL format after numerous discussions with the league. Scott modeled the Pac-12 championship game after the NFL stating that having a “home” game would create the best atmosphere and that it would be unlikely for fans to travel to two neutral-site games in consecutive weeks.

Another change that Scott wants to make is only allowing conference champions in this four team playoff. A statement made, saying only conference champions should be rewarded, by former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer last week was one which resonated with Scott. The thought behind this move would be to keep the integrity of the regular season and conference championship games intact and only reward those champions with a playoff spot. Scott also said that the move to a playoff would benefit because the championship would be earned on the field, and would de-emphasize subjective polls and computers.

Scott went on to say that college football needs to get away from the mind-set that every team deserves a trophy. He wants to make it harder for teams to get to a bowl game by changing the rule of how many wins is needed to qualify. Scott wants to make a rule that a team has to finish better than 6-6 in order to qualify because there are currently too many bowls and it waters down the quality of the product on the field.

Since Scott has taken over as commissioner of the Pac-10/12 conference in 2009 he has shaken up the college football landscape. He has emerged as a leader of innovation and the rest of the commissioners around the country have begun to listen.

If this proposal becomes a reality it will be another shining achievement on Scott’s belt of innovative ideas.

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