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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
BCS boss: Playoff hurts 'unique' season

By Jeff Caplan

IRVING, Texas -- Bill Hancock, the executive director of the BCS, defended the system as the best way to match college football's top two teams and said that a playoff system would damage the "unique nature" of college football's regular season.

A few highlights of Hancock's press conference during Day 2 of the Big 12 Media Days:

*Problem with a playoff: "It's so important to remember that we have the most compelling and meaningful regular season of any sports and it's the cornerstone of what happens on college campuses during the fall, and it's just too important to risk. The playoff would end the bowl games as we know them. I always get into discussions with reporters and others about this who say the bowl games would survive, look at the NIT. And my response is, 'Yes, look at the NIT.'

"If we had a playoff, a four-team playoff, team five would be very upset about not being in the field. Team nine, team 17, team 33. And just in summary, this is the best format. Every game counts."

*The Mountain West's progress toward a BCS automatic berth: "We are in the second year of a four-year evaluation period and we're not going to compile the data until the end of the period. So, we have two more seasons to go. The fact is we know intuitively the Mountain West is off to a very good start. Even though we haven't run the data, we know they're off to a good start. They can become the seventh automatic qualifier for the last two years of the cycle."

*The Cotton Bowl's (now played at Cowboys Stadium) hopes of joining the BCS rotation?: "Well, it's [the current BCS sites] certainly locked in for the next four years. What might happen after that is anyone's guess. I do know that our group is quite happy with the four bowls that are a part of the BCS now and the commissioners -- when I say "our group," I'm talking about the 11 commissioners who manage the event -- have tremendous respect for Rick Baker and everyone involved on the Cotton Bowl staff and committee. But, it would take a seismic change to make a change. In two years or so, the commissioners will begin talking about the future and that's when it will come up."

*The chances of a plus-one model to determine the national champion: "There's a couple of problems with the plus-one, one of which is it's a four-team playoff. And so one of the problems is with no bracket has ever stayed the same size it was when the event was created. We call it bracket creed. It might start with a four-team bracket, but there would immediately be demands to increase it by a team. Team 5 would demand it. I would if I was their coach. Team 6 would demand to add more. That's why the basketball bracket increased because teams felt like they were being left out unfairly. And that would happen with a four-team playoff plus one."

*Lack of a Big 12 championship game helps or hurts team in national championship hunt: "I don't see any evidence that a championship game helps or hurts. I hear a lot from people who say you should make every conference do it the same. We don't have the authority to do that. How the conferences produce their representative in the BCS is up to them. But, I just don't see that it's made any difference through the years. I think conferences have been helped by it, and I know conferences have been hurt by it."