ESPN apparently will air the four BCS football games beginning Jan. 1, 2011 when Fox chose not to match ESPN’s $600 million, four-year bid, according to multiple Web sites.
Fox, which holds the TV rights to the BCS title game, the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, finishes its contract after next season. Here’s the story on ESPN.com
The big question is once ESPN gets a hold of the BCS, how much pressure would it pose on college football’s ambassadors to move beyond one championship and four consolation bowls and incorporate a plus-one model or expanded playoff system.
My preference is for a 24-team playoff, kind of a cross between Division II and the NCAA basketball tournament. Say you allow give 10 conference champions an automatic berth (judge the Sun Belt on different criteria), and 14 at-large berths among the rest. Then put a conference cap at four teams (it would leave out at least one good Big 12 team) and don’t allow more than league team per region. Top two seeds get byes for the first round and highest seed hosts games through the national semifinal round. Using the bowls would be too costly for fans, especially in this market.
Here’s a look at modified playoff field might look under this plan:
1. Penn State; 2. Florida; 3. Missouri; 4. Oregon State; 5. BYU; 6. Houston
1. Alabama; 2. Oklahoma; 3. Michigan State; 4. Boise State; 5. Oregon; 6. Miami
1. Texas Tech; 2. Ohio State; 3. Georgia; 4. Cincinnati; 5. North Carolina; 6. Ball State
1. USC; 2. Texas; 3. Utah; 4. LSU; 5. PIttsburgh; 6. Maryland
Got any better ideas? Ship them my way.