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Monday, January 9, 2012
BCS meeting set for Tuesday

By Andrea Adelson

Some of you may be thrilled about the national championship game rematch between Alabama and LSU. Others, not so much.

But however you feel about the way the BCS worked this season, rest assured there is growing momentum for making significant changes to the system. That will hugely impact the Big East and every other conference.

BCS officials will meet Tuesday to discuss ideas for improving the way the national championship is decided. Big East commissioner John Marinatto will be in attendance, along with commissioners from all the other leagues. Though BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday during a meeting of The Football Writers Association of America that "everything imaginable will be discussed," there most likely will not be a full-blown playoff.

But there could be a plus-one system, which has gained momentum this season. SEC commissioner Mike Slive has been in favor of adding another postseason game, and broached the idea back in 2008. But after he was summarily given the ol' thumbs down on the idea, he said he will not take the lead in the discussion this time around.

There are some, like Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who remain opposed to a plus-one. But there are new commissioners in the Pac-12, Big 12 and Big East, so perhaps those leagues are open to reconsidering. All three were opposed to a plus-one in 2008. It is unclear how Marinatto feels about a plus-one, as he has not given a public comment on the matter.

I think a plus-one would benefit the Big East. Let's be honest. An undefeated Big East team is not going to finish in the Top 2 in the nation if there are multiple undefeated teams at the end of the season. Take the case of Cincinnati in 2009. The Bearcats would have at least had a shot at competing for a championship had there been a plus-one. That year, No. 1 Alabama would have played No. 4 TCU, and No. 2 Texas would have played No. 3 Cincinnati. Perhaps the outcome would have been the same, but the Big East could have boasted it had a team in the national championship race.

A few other suggestions are on the table: eliminating the restriction on the number of teams allowed in per conference; and taking away AQ status. I think we can all assume that the Big East would fight hard on both counts. Keeping AQ status is vital to the future survival of the Big East; and if conferences like the Big Ten or SEC are allowed more than two teams, getting in an eligible at-large from the Big East would be that much harder.