AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Coming changes to the BCS have captivated the college football world this offseason.
Coaches have been paying attention, too, and have their own opinions about how a future four-team playoff should look. One of the bigger discussion points at the ACC spring meetings Monday was about the BCS. Executive director Bill Hancock presented some of the ideas that have come up during meetings with the conference commissioners.
Nothing has been settled about who gets in, but one of the biggest debates has centered on whether winning a conference championship should be a requirement. Hancock polled the room to see what the ACC coaches want, and the consensus was that conference champions should be given preference.
"There has to be some stipulation in there about champions," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Because not everybody plays the same schedule. We play a nine-game conference schedule. Other teams don’t. That’s weighed in. Some conferences have a conference championship game. Others don’t. Being a conference champion is no small task. Not only are you going through your conference, then you turn around and play a conference championship game. There has to be a lot of weight given to conference champions."
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has already floated one plan that would include only conference champions. Under this plan, conference champions would be required to finish in the top six of the final standings; the top four advance to the four-team playoff. If four conference champions are not in the top six, then the highest ranked at-large teams would be selected.
Under this plan, Alabama would have made it into a four-team playoff last season. No. 4 Stanford would have been left out.
"The BCS is an evolving situation, and it has been in, what, 16 years, and they’ve improved on it every year and I think they will improve on it some more," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said. "It’s not black and white, and it’s not clear cut. That’s why it’s a difficult question. There’s good people running it and they have a good plan.
"I’m in favor of the BCS, what they’re doing right now and opening up the dialogue and coming up with something. I do know the conference champion does need to be involved. A conference champion, certainly, in order to keep the season and the championship games relevant has to be involved in whatever the BCS comes up with."
The next BCS meeting is set for June, when details are expected to be worked out on how the final four teams would be selected, where the games will be played, how current BCS games factor in and whether bowl tie-ins to those BCS games remain.