Ask Bruce Dickinson, Yes, THE, Bruce Dickinson what prescription solves this NCAAF Bowl Championship Series fever in college football and he’ll tell you more bowls. In an effort to mask the fact that the playoff in 2014 isn’t just the BCS with an additional title game, conference commissioners continue selling access.
With the institution of a contracted matchup of a Big 12/Pac 12 program taking on the highest-ranked team from the Big East, Sun Belt, Conference USA, Mountain West or MAC, the suits finally played nice with the jocks.
As the Associated Press kindly put it, “the best of the rest” needed something, anything from the Big Five (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC) and a seventh playoff site rescues them from postseason obscurity. For the Pac 12 and Big 12, the pairing with the Big East champion or mid-major busting through a glass ceiling means more revenue and keeping up appearances with the SEC and Big Ten. Each of the latter two conferences may have a team selected for the Orange Bowl unless the ACC champion faces Notre Dame.
The larger four conferences (sans the ACC) actually have the ability to place teams in the playoff semifinals, a contracted game with each other (Rose, Champions) and another squad that happens to finish strong (Orange, Big East-Belt-USA-MAC-West Palooza).
The Rose Bowl maintains a Big Ten-Pac 12 tradition. The Champions Bowl creates SEC-Big 12 history with a southern flavor. The Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Chick-Fil-A Bowl round out the semifinal destinations.
Before the commissioners inform the lower-tier conferences of their revenue split, they required a dangling carrot to get them there. This new bowl agreement accomplishes that. I’m starting to wonder whether these commissioners make gold records when they put their pants on in the morning.