Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some Of The Best News I've Heard In A Very Long Time!

Via Stewart Mandel.  Let's hope it happens...
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of last week's discussions in South Florida have confirmed to that the new favored proposal for a four-team playoff within the bowl system would place the two semifinal games at the traditional anchor bowls of the No. 1 and 2 teams' conferences. For example, No. 1 Alabama of the SEC would host the No. 4 team in the Sugar Bowl, while No. 2 USC of the Pac-12 would host the No. 3 team in the Rose Bowl. It is, coincidentally (or so they claim), the exact concept I first proposed as part of the "Mandel Plan" for a plus-one tournament.

Another variation currently under consideration for the playoff within the bowls is more straightforward: Two games would be preemptively designated as semifinal sites each season. For example, the Rose and Sugar might take their turns in 2015, the Fiesta and Orange in 2016. However, one source said that version is "not as likely" to be adopted.
Here are some more details, in case you're interested:
The first version is considered more palatable for two reasons. For one, it allows the Rose Bowl to be part of the playoff while maintaining its relationship with the Big Ten and Pac-12. If randomly assigned a semifinal, the Rose Bowl could get stuck hosting two teams from any conference. For another, it largely prevents situations where the higher-seeded team would be at a geographic disadvantage (like, say, No. 1 Ohio State facing No. 4 LSU in New Orleans), or where two teams would get randomly assigned to a site nowhere near either school (like, say, Oklahoma vs. Oregon in Miami).
That said, it's no certainty the conferences will opt for bowl-hosted semifinals. Contrary to some reports, on-campus sites remain "very much alive," according to two sources. One said the commissioners left the meetings split about "60-40" in favor of using bowl sites. They will present all remaining proposals to their respective conference presidents, athletic directors and coaches at league meetings in late May and early June to gauge their preferences before reconvening June 20 in Chicago.
The one detail all plans have in common: The championship game will be bid out to all major cities, making it highly unlikely one of the current BCS bowls would host both a semifinal and a championship. "The idea is to get away from double-hosting," said a source.
The commissioners' anchor-hosting plan is admittedly more radical than mine was. Two new bowls (one of them presumably the revitalized Cotton Bowl) would join the four existing BCS bowls as part of a six-game television package, with a goal of playing all six on Dec. 31, Jan. 1 or Jan. 2. The commissioners have talked for some time about "reclaiming New Year's Day" and eliminating mid-week games played as late as Jan. 5. Assuming the current bowls retain their present anchor conferences (Big Ten and Pac-12 in the Rose, SEC in the Sugar, Big 12 in the Fiesta, ACC in the Orange), the two new games could serve as semifinal sites should the No. 1 and 2 teams hail from, say, the Big East and Mountain West -- or, like last season, from the same conference.
Hit the link for much, much more discussion.  Things are still very much up in the air, of course, but the fact that a mini-playoff is a realistic discussion is tremendously good news for people who love college football.

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