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BCS commissioners agree on six major bowls in new playoff format

November 12, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Alabama Coach Nick Saban is doused with Gatorade after defeating Louisiana State in the 2012 BCS championship game in New Orleans.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban is doused with Gatorade after defeating Louisiana… (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

The second-to-last season in the Bowl Championship Series is headed for another possible controversy with three undefeated teams vying for two national title spots.

The good news is that BCS commissioners meeting in Denver on Monday have sorted out several details for the four-team playoff that will replace the BCS in 2014.

The commissioners have agreed with the Presidential Oversight Committee on a new system that will have six major bowls, not seven as recently suggested, with guaranteed access provided to the so-called Group of 5 conferences.

A selection committee will determine the four playoff teams and also place other top teams into other access bowls. The Western Athletic Conference's decision to drop football after this year will leave the sport with five major conferences: the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Group of 5 conferences will be the Big East, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American and Conference USA.

Rather than create a seventh bowl to accommodate the Group of 5, the selection committee will provide an automatic bid for the highest-ranked team from those conferences.

"Today’s meeting is a unanimous ratification of what we announced last June in Washington, D.C.," said Charles Steger, the chairman of the Presidential Oversight Committee. "I'm delighted that additional details have been resolved and that everything is on track so fans can enjoy the postseason they’ve been asking for. College football, with its great regular season, is strong and popular -- it's about to get stronger and more popular."

Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reported that the oversight committee will also grant commissioners the power to authorize a media-rights deal with ESPN, reportedly worth about $475 million per year over 12 years.

Yet to be determined is the name of the new system and how the national semifinal games will be rotated among the six bowls. Three of the six bowls will be the Rose, Sugar and Orange, with the leading candidate for the others being the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A.

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