Wednesday, January 4, 2006
New BCS coordinator open to changes, but not playoff
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The new Bowl Championship Series coordinator is open to changes in college football's postseason. That doesn't mean fans should expect anything like a playoff anytime soon.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive is taking over for Kevin Weiberg of the Big 12. Next season, the BCS will play five games, with the final one being designated the national championship game.
Speaking on Wednesday to the Football Writers Association of America, Slive said he wants to examine ways to improve college football's postseason, including the "plus-one" arrangement. In that format, the top-ranked teams after the four major bowls would advance to the national title game.
But he cautioned that any changes would be made with the blessing of the university presidents, who have never supported anything resembling a playoff.
Slive also said postseason changes would be made within the bowl system.
"We have to think long and hard when we start to talk about expanding the postseason about what impact it will have on the regular season," he said.
No. 1 Southern California and No. 2 Texas played in the Rose Bowl for the national title on Wednesday night.
Starting next season, there will be five BCS games instead of four. The Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls will be played on Jan. 1-3. The BCS championship game, which has yet to be named by Fox, will be played on Jan. 8 at the site of the Fiesta Bowl.
The championship game will continue to rotate between the four sites. ABC will continue to hold the broadcast rights to the Rose Bowl while Fox has the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls.
The fifth game was added to allow greater access and revenue to teams from conferences without automatic bids to the BCS. The Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pacific-10 and Notre Dame formed the BCS eight years ago as a way to match the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the country in a bowl game.
During Weiberg's two years leading the system that determines college football's national champion, the BCS signed a new television contract with Fox that runs from 2007 to 2010 and developed a new format.
Slive replaced Roy Kramer, who is considered the founding father of the BCS, as SEC commissioner in 2002 after serving as Conference USA commissioner for seven years.
In the five-bowl format to be used next season, the championship game matchup is set after the regular season. No teams advance from the first four games, but it does create the framework for a plus-one.
"It creates a situation that would tolerate that format," Slive said.
Slive also said Sugar Bowl officials expect the game to be played in New Orleans at the Superdome next season.
Hurricane Katrina forced the Sugar Bowl to be played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta this year.