College football “final four” seems likely

Andrew Krammer

By the time the Gophers kick off their 2012 season against the University of Nevada/Las Vegas, college football’s decision makers will have decided on a new postseason format that may dissolve the Bowl Championship Series system by 2014.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Pacific-12 commissioner Larry Scott and college football’s big wigs met in Dallas last week and furthered discussions of changing the entire bowl system, championship games and rankings.

“The more I think about it, the more opportunity for improvement I see,” Scott told the Times.

The most likely outcome will be a three-game playoff, or a final four of college football.

Scott told the Times that a two-team playoff wouldn’t be enough to silence the critics of the current system and an eight-team playoff would be too difficult to fit into the academic calendar; which is a topic of change already, as many administrators have struggled with the idea of playing bowl games as late into the year as Jan. 9 – when this year’s national championship game was played.

Another major concern in postseason reform is maintaining the integrity of the regular season. Scott told the Times that he favors the notion that all of the teams in the “final four” playoff should be conference champions.

“So much of the passion of a move to a playoff is to see it earned on the field,” Scott said. “What more clear way to have intellectual consistency with the idea of a playoff than to earn it as a conference champion?”

This could possibly draw ire, as it would limit conferences like the Southeastern Conference – who had two teams play for the B.C.S. title on Jan. 9. 

Scott said the talks in Dallas also centralized around having a team finish better than 6-6 in order to qualify for a bowl game, as well as having fewer bowls in general. There are currently 35 bowl games played each season.

“We need to get away from the societal trend of everybody getting a trophy,” he said.