Future format for playoff, major bowls is finalized | College football
The Big East will compete with four conferences that have not had BCS automatic-qualifying status for a guaranteed spot in the lucrative marquee bowl games when college football's new postseason system starts after the 2014 regular season.
The Big East will compete with four conferences that have not had Bowl Championship Series automatic-qualifying status for a guaranteed spot in the lucrative marquee bowl games when college football's new postseason system starts after the 2014 regular season.
That group of five conferences just won't have a bowl of its own.
Conference commissioners decided Monday during a meeting with university presidents in Denver that the new four-team playoff will rotate through six games, as originally planned.
In September, a proposal was put forth to add a seventh game to the rotation that would match the best team from the Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference against a team from the Pac-12 or Big 12 when it did not host a semifinal.
But television networks weren't all that interested in paying in excess of $20 million a year more for a game that could potentially feature low-profile teams.
Commissioners considered incorporating that best-of-the-rest against the Pac-12 or Big 12 matchup as part of a six-bowl structure, but concluded that would have locked up too many spots. Instead, a guaranteed bid was created to give the so-called "group of five" a place in the top games.
"This gives us an opportunity to compete," Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said. "That's what we want. We're adding new teams and we think we're going to be a stronger league. This gives us a chance to prove it."
The Big East stands to benefit the most from the automatic-berth concept.
The rebuilding conference has automatic-qualifier status in the Bowl Championship Series, but with the BCS going away the Big East has been battling to retain its status as one of the power conferences.
While this still relegates the Big East to a place below the other current BCS automatic-qualifying conferences (Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern), which all have deals in place with major bowls, it should keep the Big East playing in high-profile games regularly.
The Big East will expand to 12 football teams next season, adding Boise State among others, and appears positioned to be the strongest conference among the group of five.
In the new postseason system, the national semifinals will rotate through six bowl games, setting up two playoff games and four major-bowl games every season. The title game will be bid out each year through a separate process, similar to the NFL's Super Bowl.
The six games will include three "contract bowls" and three "host bowls." The spots in the contract bowls, when they do not host semifinals, are reserved for teams that have deals with those bowls. The Rose Bowl, for example, has a longtime relationship with the Pac-12 and Big Ten.
• Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher apologized for using the term "retarded" in response to a question about his team's 10th-place ranking in this week's BCS standings.
"That's not the way I think," Fisher said. "It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean to offend anyone in any way."
• Louisville running back Senorise Perry, who has a Big East-leading 11 touchdowns, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his right knee.