Today could be a monumental day in the history of college football. The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee will vote Tuesday in Washington, D.C., on a new four-team, three-game playoff that could be sold to television for as much as $5 billion over a 10-year deal. The 2011 BCS contract paid out $174 million, and the newly restructured postseason would nearly triple that number. The model is being presented by 11 BCS commissioners, and Notre Dame's president Jack Swarbrick.
I know one of the major debates is how the selection committee will be picked. Football is vastly different than basketball in that there are far fewer conferences and programs to choose from. Basketball has well over 300 schools, while football is set at 119. Logic suggests one member from each conference and one from ND will be used, yet I do have misgivings about that. One, not all 11 conferences all equal. That might seem prejudiced seeing as how Michigan is what it is, and being in the Big Ten, but we're not the MAC. We're not the WAC or Mountain West either. I'm not saying anything derogatory towards those schools, but it's true. Why should they have a say into what final four teams should be playing for the championship? Sounds mean, I know, but it's reality.
Another concept of this deal is that the four major bowls--Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange alike--those sites will be used for semifinal purposes. I also understand there might be a 5th and 6th bowl (Cotton, Gator, Insight..who knows) that COULD be used. Now we all know how sports come down to the almighty dollar, and here's a classic example. I'm no mathematician, but if TV rights alone are what they predict, then maybe we'd see $500 million a year for 10 years, or $5 billion over 10, however you want to do it. Subtract the championship game, which for giggles I'll take off half...leaves 250 million a year for those 4 bowl games. Now, divide that by 8 teams. Right off the top, that could be $31.25 million dollars per team. I know there's always major costs for a team to go to a bowl, tickets, commercials, sponsors, vacations for people we know nothing about that they don't need to take (ahem Fiesta guys), so in the end a school might end up with $15 million of that. What major college program wouldn't accept $15 million dollars??? I could be so wrong on all of this that I should dig a hole in the sand and wait for Sparty to win a national championship, but seeing as though that will never happen I will consider myself knowledgeable for now.
Now, I know many traditionalists (cough cough, Michigan fans) want a football playoff to keep yearly ties to the Rose Bowl. It seems like it will happen for the most part, but maybe in later years the Rose Bowl will lose some shine due to the fact it wouldn't be the "granddaddy of em' all." The Rose Bowl would no longer be the precipice on which the mightiest Big Ten team would stand on and proclaim themselves the best. I'm not sure about any of this and it's all speculation, of course. A new Rose Bowl contract is supposed to be announced later this week and should last through 2026.
One last thing that I discovered...and if I could raise one eyebrow about it I would have. The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee (I'd like to know who comes up with these titles) is made up of three college administrators, two lawyers, a dentist, an engineer, a geographer, a political scientist, an economist, a priest and an architect. I seriously can't make that up. It reads as a political joke. Of course the priest is from Notre Dame...they have a lot to pray about in football these days. Just seems to be an odd group working on the future of such a huge industry.
Now that they are officially announcing the new postseason @ 6:30 PM, things could change a lot in the future. Most of these ideas will probably be included, but it will be very interesting to see the final layout and how it affects every conference.