You’re referring — faceless questioner — to last week’s New York Post story citing anonymous sources that such a set up was likely by 2011. Guess what, I wrote that in May. The New York Times had an extensive story on it seven months ago. This is nothing new. As I said a couple of months ago, we are trending toward a plus-one. There is a general feeling among the game’s movers and shakers that we’re headed that way. The skeleton for a plus-one is in place now with the double-hosting model — four bowls plus the championship game. One plausible scenario is the winners of five bowls (there would have to be five, mind you) would be eligible for the championship game. The rub comes in determining which two teams would be selected to play for the title. Use the BCS standings? (Yuck!) Human committee? (Fraught with biases.) Still, a plus-one is the logical next step. No one has the stomach — nor is there support for — a bracketed four-team playoff (college football’s Final Four). The Pac-10, Big Ten and Rose Bowl are dead set against it. Besides that, the TV contracts don’t line up. Most of the major conference TV contracts expire after the 2010 season. However the Rose Bowl, Pac-10 and Big Ten go to 2014. [Emphasis added.] Even if those hurdles are cleared, how do you convince the school presidents? There are 21 in the Pac-10 and Big Ten who would vote no yesterday, today and tomorrow. It took us 130 years to get to the BCS, 10 years to get to this point of even discussing a plus-one. The game, off the field, moves at a snail’s pace. Patience, people, patience.
Bernie’s solution would be to tell the Big Ten, Pac-10 and the Rose Bowl to go stuff themselves, but in the real world, it’ll be a little more nuanced than that. By the way, that Rose Bowl contract sure gives ESPN/ABC/Disney one helluva bargaining chip in negotiating as to who gets their hands on the broadcast rights for the playoffs, doesn’t it?