Today history was made official. College football will have a playoff starting in 2014 and going through 2025. The playoffs will involve four teams with the semifinals rotating through 6 traditional bowl sites and the championship game bid out.
The 11 Conference Commissioners and the Notre Dame athletics director presented their idea to 12 university presidents and within three hours, the playoff was approved. The presidents endorsed the idea of rotating the semifinals through the 6 unnamed bowls and bidding out the championship game to a neutral site. My guess is that Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Orlando are salivating at the chance to host the championship game. The championship game will be managed by the conferences and not be called a bowl game. Virginia Tech president Charles Sterger said, “A four team playoff doesn’t go too far, it goes just the right amount. We are very pleased with this arrangement even though some issues remain to be finalized.”
The issues remaining to be finalized are who will be on the selection committee, how the selection will weigh the qualifications for the 4 teams, and how the revenues will be distributed.
The biggest item of concern for me is the selection committee. I’m guessing that the selection committee will be composed of athletic directors, school presidents, and former players and coaches. The selection committee will consider the win-loss record, strength of schedule, whether a school is a conference champion, and head-to-head results. No one knows how significant each one of these factors will be. The basketball committee's standards change from year to year and I for one would appreciate the standards to be set in stone. I can tell you that some conference champions wouldn’t cut the mustard in the Pac 12, SEC, or Big XII (I’m looking at you Big Ten and ACC) so I think this is just a way to prevent one conference from getting two schools in the playoffs.
The revenues will probably be weighted towards the bigger conferences such as the SEC, Big XII, Pac 12, and Big Ten. The ACC and Big East are praying that they can have a dominant team emerge like a Miami in the its Big East days or FSU in the ACC before 2007.
While there is much celebrating to be had, we still need to see what happens with the rest of the rules and standards for the the playoff system. I'm hoping that the powers that be don't screw up something that a lot of people have been clamoring for.