ESPN snags BCS games; playoffs next?

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

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.


4 Responses to ESPN snags BCS games; playoffs next?

  1. Franz says:

    I think that the 24 team playoff would be great, it would sync right up to our top 25 poll culture. It would also reward the top teams with a bye.

    But I think that we should just push for an 8 team playoff because there seems to be some consensus there (including a promise from president elect Obama to throw his weight around for the cause.) I think one of the big roadblocks has been everyone wanting to have the perfect playoff system at the expense of having a good playoff system.

    The primary roadblock to the playoffs seems to be from some coaches, athletic directors and university presidents. I have a website up to help keep track of where everyone stands on the issue so we can lobby them from there.

    I think we have a real opportunity to make playoffs happen if we all push the cause.

  2. Sam says:

    Dude, the playoffs are already built … it’s just that no one has noticed yet.

    You know how people complain that the conference championships ruin the regular season for some teams while the Big Ten and Pac-10 never have to play one so that can skate in on someone else’s mistake? Plus, there’s the new stipulation that if you don’t win your conference title game, you can play for the national title?

    Well, that’s the solution. The conference title games become the first round of the playoffs. That would force the Big Ten to finally add that 12th member (Notre Dame might think twice about joining, finally), and the Pac-10 might think about new membership (hey, how about Utah and Boise State?).

    That would make the quarterfinals the winners from SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East and two at-larges chosen from winners of the mid-major title games. Use the BCS for seedings only … and bam — eight-team playoff. Then, every other team in the country is free to play a traditional bowl game.

  3. tim w. says:

    Of course I’m all for a playoff, but I’m not sure we need 24 teams. At any rate, why on earth would you seed Texas #2 in the West behind USC?

    USC lost to an average OSU team and was trailing by 13 with less thean 1:30 left. Their best wins were over a #5 Ohio State team that now looks, quite frankly, grossly overrated at #10, over #21 Oregon, who is now #23, and over #21 Cal, who is now #39, receiving 2 votes. If OSU wins out, USC won’t even win a very weak Pac 10.

    Texas is a strong #3 in the BCS right now to USC’s #6. Texas has a 10-1 record against one of the toughest schedules in the country this year, having pulled off consecutive wins against #s 1, 11, and 6, then losing on the road, at night the next week on a last-second TD to #7 Texas Tech, who is still undefeated and now #2.

    What’s the rationale?


  4. Puddn'head says:

    What? No Noles?

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