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College Football

College football playoff to have 6 games, not 7

Posted November 12, 2012

— The new college football postseason system will have six games as originally planned, but now a spot in the marquee bowls will be reserved for the best team from a group of five conferences that includes the Big East.

The tweak to the postseason format that will start in 2014 was made Monday during a meeting of conference commissioners and university presidents.

In September, a proposal was put forth to add a seventh game to the format 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.

But ultimately that plan was dumped, and instead a guaranteed spot was created to give those conferences access to the top games.

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 Super Bowl.

The six games will include three "contract bowls" and three "host bowls." The spots in the contract bowls are reserved for teams that have deals with those bowls.

The Rose Bowl has a longtime relationship with the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Sugar Bowl just agreed to a deal with the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference. The Orange Bowl over the summer signed a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference and is working on a deal to have a team from the SEC or Big Ten, or Notre Dame, play in the Miami-based game.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement he was pleased with the committee's decision. 

"We’ve reconfirmed the four-team seeded playoff in a way that maintains college football as the strongest regular season in sports and upholds the tradition of the bowl system," he said. "We are closing in on the final aspects of what will be a superb television agreement. In short, this entire approach is proving to be beneficial for both college football and for the Atlantic Coast Conference.”

The top team from the other five conferences without ties to a contract bowl will be assured a spot in one of the host bowls. Under the original plan, teams from those five leagues could get in only through an at-large bid.

A selection committee will pick the four playoff teams and fill the spots in the host bowls.

The commissioners and presidents also announced that a higher portion of the revenue from the new format will go to the conferences of the four teams that qualify for the playoff and participate in the other games.

Also, part of the revenue sharing will be based on the NCAA's academic progress report scores.

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  • StunGunn Nov 12, 2012

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    It's still confusing. I remember you had several models that made more sense - and were more fair - than this.

  • Aint ur day Nov 12, 2012

    Its all about money...nothing more.

  • Ken D. Nov 12, 2012

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    As near as I can tell, this is what is going down. Before announcing that a playoff will replace the BCS championship game, the six major conferences essentially had a near monopoly of the five games - one that "counted" plus the four major bowls. That meant ten schools to share the big bucks, eight of which were just playing for funsies.

    Now that two of those eight will get to be part of the playoff, the major bowls quietly added another game, expecting to invite two more members of those major conferences to their private party. Except since there is no longer a BCS - and therefore no BCS coalition - they wanted also to cut the Big East out, leaving this new huge pie to be shared by only five conferences.

    What's at stake here? This year, the schools involved in the BCS will divvy up roughly $150 million. The expected deal once the playoff starts increases that to $475 million per year. How that gets divided is a huge deal. Especially if you aren't in one of the five major conferences. That's half of Division I. This fight has only just begun.

  • eaglewolf Nov 12, 2012

    A bullsh-- headline. What are the chances?

  • JohnnyVoodoo Nov 12, 2012

    Amazing isn't it? Everybody knows how political the Bowl system, as we know it, can be. And now with the new playoff system going into effect, politics is still gonna rule the school. In other words, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 12, 2012

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    Yes. I'm officially confused. I'm assuming these extra games are simply 'fluff' games that mean NOTHING to the Playoff? I wish WRAL would post an article to simply inform us of where we stand, at this moment in time, concerning the Playoff. Nothing more. I'm interested in hearing specifically how they will choose the four teams. And what qualifies, or exempts, a team for the Playoffs. If it is possible to gather this info, please print a small article that summarizes this info. Thanks BUNCHES!

  • Ken D. Nov 12, 2012

    This is a nice try at spinning it so it appears more teams are involved in the playoffs. But there will still only be four teams, and three games.

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