Some playoff proposals discarded

Updated: April 27, 2012, 9:12 AM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and other college football officials Thursday agreed to eliminate eight-team and 16-team playoff proposals to determine the sport's future national champions, but settled on very little else during weeklong meetings at a beachside resort here.

After meetings Thursday, BCS spokesman Bill Hancock said the sport's 11 FBS conference commissioners would take "two to seven" playoff proposals -- each involving four teams -- back to their respective university presidents, athletic directors and coaches to discuss for the next five to seven weeks.

BCS officials and conference commissioners are scheduled to meet in Chicago again in June.

"Having carefully reviewed calendars and schedules, we believe that either an eight-team or a 16-team playoff would diminish the regular season and harm the bowls," the BCS said in a statement. "College football's regular season is too important to diminish and we do not believe it's in the best interest of student-athletes, fans, or alumni to harm the regular season.

"Accordingly, as we proceed to review our options for improving the postseason, we have taken off the table both an eight-team and 16-team playoff."

Any proposed changes wouldn't go into effect until the 2014 season. The current BCS system, in which the top two teams in the final BCS standings play in a national championship game at the site of one of the current BCS bowls (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar), will remain in place the next two seasons.

Hancock said another proposal eliminated was the idea of having three semifinal games if the champions of the Big Ten or Pac-12 were among the four teams competing in the playoffs.

Under that proposal -- which never seemed to carry much weight with many commissioners -- the Big Ten and/or Pac-12 team would have played in the Rose Bowl -- with four other teams competing in the national semifinals -- and then two winning teams would have been selected to play in a championship game.

Another development was the agreement by FBS commissioners and other officials to eliminate the practice of designating conferences as "AQ" and "non-AQ" leagues.

Under current BCS rules, champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC automatically receive a spot in one of the five BCS bowl games -- Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Sugar and the Allstate BCS National Championship Game. Champions of Conference USA and the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Western Athletic conferences have to meet other criteria to qualify for a BCS bowl game.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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