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As the nation gets set to put a lid on the 2011 college football season with tonight’s national championship game between the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, changes to the BCS formula seem to be on the way.Commissioners from all 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame’s athletic director will meet Tuesday to begin discussions. Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive had this to say,
“It’s my impression that … there will be meaningful discussion about possible changes to the BCS”
These are the proposals most likely to be discussed:
- A Plus-One Model: a mini-playoff in which the top four BCS teams at the end of the regular season are seeded for two national semifinal matchups with the winners then meeting a week later in the title game
- Removal of automatic qualifiers: champions of the Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Big East, and ACC currently receive automatic bids to a BCS bowl game, with the other minor conferences only being able to participate if they meet certain conditions. No AQ conferences would make it easier for teams like Boise State to play in BCS games.
Other ideas that have been mentioned before and could be talked about this time around as well are eliminating the rule where no more than two teams per conference can play in a BCS game and possibly adding a fifth BCS game, likely the Cotton Bowl, to the formula.
Any changes wouldn’t take place until the start of the 2014 season and the full scale playoff everyone is clamoring for is probably off the table.
“Whatever we do we have to protect the regular season,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday at a meeting of the Football Writers Association of America. “I think the larger the playoff field the more damage to the regular season.”
There’s also this interesting tidbit from Pete Thamel of The New York Times:
Most interesting nugget: A package with a Final Four of Football could be worth at least double the $125 million the BCS gets now.