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  • New BCS game sets stage for things to come

    New BCS game sets stage for things to come
    April 25, 2006
    By Dennis Dodd
    CBS Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!

    PHOENIX -- The Legos are in place. Or Tinker Toys. Or Lincoln Logs. Whatever you want to call the new Bowl Championship Series.

    The structure is in place for a small, modest playoff in Division I-A football.

    The system was put in place to help mid-majors like Utah. (Getty Images)
    It might not even be fair to call it that. Plus, any such monumental change is probably at least four years away.

    It might take that long to figure out the current BCS structure, which kicks off this season. Ask around. Here's a bet that a large chunk of coaches don't even know how things are going down this season.

    And we're less than nine months away from playing the actual bowl games.

    That's why we offer this tutorial from this week's BCS meetings.

    What's this new "double-hosting" format?

    Starting this season, there are now five BCS bowls instead of four. Because of a threat of Congressional anti-trust intervention launched by non-BCS schools, a fifth game was added for better access two years ago at these meetings.

    That means the bowl that is hosting the national title game each year -- after this season it is the Fiesta Bowl -- will also host its normal bowl game more or less a week prior.

    Here's how it looks this year:

    Jan. 1: Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
    Jan. 1: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
    Jan. 2: Orange Bowl in Miami
    Jan. 3: Sugar Bowl in New Orleans
    Jan. 8: BCS national title game back in Glendale, Ariz.
    Give us a projected lineup in those bowls

    Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. at-large (Oklahoma vs. West Virginia)
    Rose Bowl: Pac-10 champ vs. Big Ten champ (USC vs. Iowa)
    Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large (Florida State vs. Texas)
    Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. at-large (Notre Dame vs. Auburn)
    BCS national championship: No. 1 vs. No. 2 in final BCS standings (No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 LSU, based on pre-spring top 25)
    How does a non-BCS school get in?

    Nothing is finalized -- hey, it's only April -- but count on any team from a "coalition conference" (MAC, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA) automatically qualifying by finishing in the top 12 of the BCS standings.

    A further entry point: If the lowest-ranked BCS conference winner (among the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC, ACC and Big East) finishes No. 16 or lower, a coalition can get in by finishing No. 15 or higher.

    Does the extra BCS game make sense to you?
    35% Yes: It gives mid majors a cut.

    65% No: But it sets up a possible 'plus one.'

    Total Votes: 1795

    That means last year No. 14 TCU, at 11-1, would have gotten in because ACC champion Florida State finished No. 22 at 8-5.

    Utah is the only non-BCS program to reach a BCS bowl in the seven-year history of the system. It reached the Fiesta Bowl in 2004 under the old, more restrictive automatic qualification standards -- finishing in the top six.

    What about more BCS schools getting in at-large?

    On Wednesday, the BCS commissioners decided to expand the pool of eligible I-A teams from top 12 in the final BCS standings to top 14. With 10 slots to fill this year, it seemed to make sense. Remember, teams are only "eligible," not "automatic."

    Last year, that would have meant Alabama would have been eligible. In 2004, both Michigan and Miami would have been eligible.

    So where's the non-BCS team in your projections?

    I don't see one automatically qualifying. Utah is a shadow of his former self in its second year after Urban Meyer. TCU has too tough a road to climb to repeat 11-1. Conference USA is down slightly this season. The MAC is struggling mightily.

    For a team to qualify, it most likely is going to have to start ranked and beat a BCS-conference school or two to establish its poll credibility. TCU is the only candidate right now but plays at Baylor (don't laugh) and Texas Tech in the first month.

    Don't worry, Charlie, the Golden Domers will get their money. (Getty Images)
    What about Notre Dame?

    Notre Dame must finish with at least nine wins and in the top eight to automatically qualify.

    However, its payout is changed. It is guaranteed $1 million each year from the BCS in years it does not qualify. In years that it does reach the BCS, it will receive only at-large money -- approximately $4.5 million.

    That means if ND goes to a BCS bowl once a decade, it will earn less in that period than it did last year playing in the Fiesta Bowl last season under the old payout schedule.

    Why is there double-hosting? Why not make that fifth game a meeting of the two best remaining teams that win their bowl games?

    The so-called "plus-one" was discussed. Two years ago in its negotiations with the BCS, ABC wanted that to increase the value of the package with advertisers.

    BCS presidents nixed a plus-one and ABC's interest cooled. In came Fox to snatch the rights to every BCS bowl but the Rose. The BCS basically called ABC's bluff. When the network wanted back in after it found out Fox was serious, it was too late.

    Doesn't this water down the product? One more game to accommodate the likes of TCU, Utah or Tulane in any given year?

    Yes. After the championship game, the BCS simply isn't as compelling.

    But this is where it gets in interesting. As we mentioned, the basic skeleton is now in place for a modest playoff because that fifth game has been added.

    Fox knows it is in on the ground floor should the BCS at any point during the contract decide to go to a plus-one.

    "If you're in the game you have a better chance of getting a hit," said Larry Jones, Fox Sports chief operating officer.

    What about double-hosting morphing into a plus-one by, say, the end of this decade?

    The presidents are still dead set against it, but privately some BCS officials say they sense some "melting" of that resolve.

    The big hang-up seems to be with the Rose Bowl, but as long as it can get the Pac-10 and Big Ten champions each year, it doesn't care.

    Currently, the presidents look hypocritical for 1) declaring no more second-semester football, then playing a game on Jan. 8; 2) adding a 12th regular-season game (beginning this year) when they are adamantly against a playoff.

    So what's the best solution?

    Glad you asked. First, have all the bowls go back to their natural tie-ins, no exceptions.

    The Rose gets the Pac-10 and Big Ten champion each year. The Sugar gets the SEC champ. The Fiesta gets the Big 12 champ. The Orange gets the ACC and Big East champions.

    Then fill in with at-large teams. After those games are played, take the two remaining highest-ranked teams in the BCS and play the national championship game a week or so later.

    The bowls are happy. The teams are happy, or should be. Hypothetically, each bowl would be compelling. The BCS is happy because the value of the product goes up. There's no denying that the rights holders would be ecstatic.

    "(This) could certainly serve as a structure for a different format," BCS coordinator Mike Slive said of double-hosting.

    An added perk: This model eliminates having the week-by-week BCS standings that, in some years, exacerbate the criticism when things start to go wrong.

    Does the BCS formula change?

    No. It's going to be the Harris poll and coaches poll combined with the six computer indexes.

    Things worked so well last year. Why change anything?

    The changes made two years ago came when TV and bowl contracts were expiring. The BCS was coming off the split national championship of 2003 (LSU and USC). The system was under fire.

    Last year, Texas and USC were clearly the two best teams. The Rose Bowl drew the highest rating for a college football game in 19 years. Each of the four BCS bowls were compelling.

    This year? Stay tuned.

  • #2
    Re: New BCS game sets stage for things to come

    The BCS system is a joke. Until they have a true playoff system, the collegiate champion will be a joke.


    • #3
      Re: New BCS game sets stage for things to come

      Oklahoma? Over Texas? next year?

      No way.


      • #4
        Re: New BCS game sets stage for things to come

        OSU ranked NO.1


        Related Topics


        • txramsfan
          BCS approves "double hosting" model
          by txramsfan

          Bowl Championship Series commissioners approved on Wednesday the
          framework for a new postseason model beginning in 2006.

          The "double-hosting" BCS model will begin after that 2006 season with the 2006-2007 bowls. The four existing BCS bowls -- Sugar, Fiesta, Rose and Orange -- will each play host to two games once every four years. The second game in the bowl will be the BCS title game matching the two top-ranked teams from the regular season.

          The other four bowls will be a mixture of conference champions and increased at-large openings to provide access for any coalition teams that qualify. The addition of a fifth game means there will be two more BCS slots, bringing the total to 10. Counting the champions of the six BCS leagues, that would leave four at-large openings. It is expected that a coalition team (formerly "non-BCS") could qualify for one of those spots if it finished in the top 12 in the final BCS regular-season rankings.

          Resolution of the issue was made possible when the Rose Bowl agreed to open a slot for coalition qualifiers under certain conditions. The most likely scenario is if the Rose loses either the Pac-10 or Big Ten champion to the BCS title game (No. 1 vs. No. 2). It was not immediately known how often coalition qualifiers would play in any of the four bowls.

          A media conference call to make the announcement has been called for noon ET on Thursday. BCS Presidential Oversight Committee chairman Dave Frohnmayer (the Oregon president) and incoming BCS coordinator Kevin Weiberg (Big 12 commissioner) are expected to participate.

          Double-hosting had been considered the most lucrative model for all parties. Aside from a playoff, it holds the most value for the networks, which must sell advertising to recoup rights fees paid out. Bowls must hold their worth in terms of ticket sales and payouts to teams.

          BCS presidents weren't going to approve the "plus-one" model that had winning teams progressing to a championship game after playing what amounted to semifinal games in BCS bowls. Commissioners were told by presidents in February to add a fifth game (if the market supported it) to accommodate coalition teams.

          It is expected there will be a continuation of "anchor" conferences for each bowl -- the Big 12 in the Fiesta, SEC in the Sugar, ACC in the Orange and Pac-10 and Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. When any of those bowls lose a conference champion to the BCS title game, it could get first choice of any BCS-eligible team.

          The conferences and ABC are expected to sign at least a four-year contract to continue the BCS system that started in 1998. A new deal would carry the BCS out through at least the 2009 season.

          Commissioners were under pressure this week to finalize a new...
          -06-10-2004, 12:51 PM
        • DJRamFan
          Latest BCS a feel-good for Cal, upset stomach for Utah
          by DJRamFan
          Nov. 1, 2004
          By Dennis Dodd
 Senior Writer
          Tell Dennis your opinion!

          Good day for Cal. Not so good for Utah.

          BCS Standings
          Team Rating
          1. Southern California .9895
          2. Oklahoma .9648
          3. Auburn .9238
          4. California .8050
          5. Wisconsin .7579
          6. Utah .7429
          7. Texas .7370
          8. Tennessee .7124
          9. Georgia .7019
          10. Miami .6530
          That's the summary of the latest BCS standings released on Monday. Cal made the most significant jump, up four spots to No. 4. If the season ended today, the Bears would be automatically qualified for an at-large BCS bowl berth, most likely the Rose.

          "The Rose has to be absolutely giddy," BCS expert Jerry Palm said.

          After the six BCS conference champions, there are two at-large berths. Those berths are guaranteed if a team or teams finish third and/or fourth in the BCS standings. Utah, which stayed at No. 6, would automatically qualify as a non-BCS team if it stays in the top six.

          As things stand, the Rose Bowl would lose No. 1 USC to the Orange Bowl in the BCS title game. It is allowed to replace the Pac-10 champion, in that scenario, with another BCS-eligible from the conference. It looks like Cal will be eligible. It wants to finish automatic.


          "I think they have a chance of holding on," Palm said of Cal.

          The Bears (7-0) have games left against Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Southern Miss.

          Palm doesn't have same feel-good vibe about the Utes. Utah, despite moving up in both human polls, slipped in the computers and is only .0059 of a point ahead of No. 7 Texas. Considering the strength of schedule of each team, Texas should be able to move up, if it keeps winning.

          Texas (8-0) has Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas A&M left. Utah has Colorado State, Wyoming and BYU.

          "Basically what this comes down to is if the top seven win out, Utah is toast," Palm said.

          It would be significantly harder for Utah to land a BCS berth if it was out of the top six. Though non-BCS teams in the top 12 are eligible, they are automatic if they finish in the top six.

          Utah dropped 1 1/2 points in its average computer ranking (from 5.25 to 6.75) despite moving up two spots in both the AP and coaches polls.

          "It goes to show you what can happen," Palm said. "Utah moved up two spots in the polls and dropped one in the computers even though two teams ahead of them lost. That's an indication of why they're not safe. There are no gimmes for them."

          Elsewhere, there were no surprises in the BCS standings.

          Auburn moved up to No. 3, matching its spot in both human polls, after...
          -11-02-2004, 04:31 PM
        • txramsfan
          Big East still worthy of BCS Bid?
          by txramsfan

          The real dilution of the Bowl Championship Series is not an outsider like Miami (Ohio) (13-1 last season) playing in a major bowl game. Nor is it a Fresno State or Boise State infiltrating a BCS bowl.

          Big East
          Predicted Finish
          1. West Virginia
          2. Boston College
          3. Connecticut
          4. Syracuse
          5. Pittsburgh
          6. Rutgers
          7. Temple
          Off. Player of Year:
          Dan Orlovsky, UConn
          Def. Player of Year:
          Mathias Kiwanuka, BC
          Coach of the Year:
          Rich Rodriguez, W. Va.
          There is, at least, a curiosity factor with the so-called coalition schools having easier access to the BCS beginning in 2006. Whatever teams qualify in the future, they will be, well, qualified. It will take an undefeated or one-loss season to get into the exclusive club.

          An Ohio State-Miami (Ohio) Fiesta Bowl would have been a delight last season. If not that, then an all-purple TCU vs. Kansas State major bowl game.

          Those matchups would not be the death of postseason football as we know it. More close to that frightening prospect is the BCS keeping the Big East in the loop. The Crippled Conference limps into this season with the most fortunate grandfather clause in sports.

          The Big East has lost Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech. Boston College departs for the ACC after 2004. Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida enter next season. Yet, the league kept is automatic BCS berth.

          The real fly in the Bengay for bowl executives is, in any given year, an 8-3 Cincinnati could be playing in the Sugar Bowl. South Florida could find its way to the Orange Bowl. Even a 10-1 West Virginia, this year's favorite, doesn't exactly promise a television ratings bonanza.

          The point is the reconfigured Big East probably has the least desirable potential cast of champions in the BCS. Syracuse? In basketball, yes. In football, weeelll ...

          Boston College isn't even close to being the top draw in its own city. Rutgers? Uh, no. The conference's best story this season is Connecticut, which joined the league a year early after the ACC raid. With a break here and there, the Huskies could find themselves winning the league and playing in a BCS bowl in their first season in the Big East.

          But UConn went 9-3 last season as an independent and didn't get a postseason sniff.

          Given the dearth of desirable bowl programs, you wonder how the conference got to keep its BCS bid. Maybe commissioner Mike Tranghese's peers simply had pity on him and his league after all it has gone through in the past year.

          The clock is running. Big East champions will have to average a final No. 12 ranking in the BCS ratings over a four-year period or the conference's BCS status will be reviewed....
          -08-19-2004, 08:13 AM
        • DJRamFan
          Rose's dream is Big Ten vs. Pac-10 AND title game
          by DJRamFan
          Aug. 5, 2005
          By Dennis Dodd
          CBS Senior Writer
          Tell Dennis your opinion!

          CHICAGO -- There's a unique opportunity for the Pac-10 and Big Ten in 2005. For the second time in BCS history, the Rose Bowl is the site of the national championship game after this season. Assuming that USC is the prohibitive No. 1 favorite going in, that puts the pressure on the Big Ten to make it a 1-2 natural matchup for the national championship.

          Heisman winner Matt Leinart is expected to lead USC to a Rose Bowl berth. (Getty Images)
          That's something that hasn't happened in 37 years.

          It seems amazing the last time the Rose Bowl's anchor teams met while ranked 1-2 in the Associated Poll was Jan. 1, 1969. Ohio State beat USC 27-16. A "rematch" of sorts could be looming, although considering the strength of the Big Ten, Ohio State is in for a battle to win the league. Michigan was named the favorite this week at the Big Ten preseason media days.

          "Anyone going in against USC would be the underdog," Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "That would be a little bit of motivation, I think."

          Only twice in history have the 1-2 teams in the AP poll from those conferences met in Pasadena (the other year was 1963). That shows how much fans of both leagues care about such an occurrence. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has said in the past he valued a Rose Bowl berth over a national championship shot.

          But this year, the stars are aligning for a Big Ten vs. Pac-10 championship game in the shadow of the San Gabriels on Jan. 4. No. 4 Michigan, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa all start the season ranked in the top 10 in the coaches poll. USC, which brings a 22-game winning streak into the season, is led by Heisman winner Matt Leinart.

          "We definitely want to get there no matter who we're playing, but we'd definitely like to get a shot at USC," Michigan running back Michael Hart said. "Whoever wins the Big Ten this year and goes undefeated, they have no choice but to put you in the national championship game because the Big Ten is so strong this year."

          There is some recent history. Michigan was the victim 20 months ago when the USC started its championship run with a 28-14 victory over the Wolverines in the Rose Bowl.

          To say Carr is obsessing over that game might be too strong, but he does remember it. Michigan was trailing only 7-0 in the second quarter when John Navarre's pass hit Braylon Edwards' heel. USC's Lofa Tatupu intercepted and ran it back to the Michigan 3. USC scored easily to make it 14-0.

          "They got a hell of a break when the ball hit Braylon in the heel," Carr said. "We never got back in it. If you look at the teams (they beat), they get them down, they kill...
          -08-08-2005, 07:18 AM
        • DJRamFan
          USC vs. Oklahoma: As close to perfect as BCS can get
          by DJRamFan
          Jan. 01, 2005
 wire reports

          MIAMI -- Pete Carroll calls this one the perfect matchup, and in many ways it is: USC vs. Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for the national title.


          Preseason favorites to make it to Miami, the Trojans and Sooners were No. 1 and No. 2 in the polls all year. They feature the last two Heisman Trophy winners and about a dozen All-Americans between them.

          Two of college football's most storied and tradition-rich programs, Oklahoma and Southern California have 11 AP national titles combined.

          Of course, rarely is anything ever perfect when the Bowl Championship Series is involved.

          Just ask Auburn.

          The top-ranked Trojans (12-0) and No. 2 Sooners (12-0) meet Tuesday night for a national championship that will wrap up the college football season, but not necessarily the debate over who's No. 1.

          On Monday night, No. 3 Auburn puts its 12-0 record on the line against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl with a chance to finish a perfect season that will compare favorably with the Orange Bowl winner's.

          "It stinks the way it played out this year for them," Oklahoma quarterback Jason White said. "They're a great team. They probably deserve to be in this championship game just as much as either one of us. But that's the way it worked out."

          USC and Oklahoma were right at the center of last year's BCS mess. The Trojans were left out of the BCS title game despite being No. 1 in the polls. The Sooners got in despite a lopsided loss in the Big 12 championship game.

          In the end, USC finished on top in The Associated Press Top 25 and LSU beat Oklahoma to win the BCS crown.

          "We were playing for the title in our minds last year," said Carroll, the Trojans' coach. "But this year there's an added dimension."

          The BCS guys were determined to make sure a consensus No. 1 would never again be left out of the title game, so this year's formula emphasized the polls over the computers.

          One problem solved.

          Next problem: There are three unbeaten teams, all clearly worthy of a spot in the title game. For that, there is no BCS solution.


          "I'd love to see a playoff, though this does feel a little like a playoff," Carroll said. "But I'm not hopeful for that."

          At least this season neither title game participant is being labeled undeserving, as the Sooners were last season after being throttled 35-7 by Kansas State for the Big 12 championship.

          With a chance to redeem themselves, the Sooners fell flat in the Sugar Bowl. A battered White looked little like a Heisman Trophy winner in the 21-14 loss to LSU.

          The Sooners turned...
          -01-01-2005, 03:58 PM