I chatted with Joe Castiglione on Tuesday night after the announcement of the expanded college football playoff. He was in Salt Lake City for a meeting of the NCAA basketball committee – you know, the committee that until Tuesday night was the most prestigious in collegiate sports – and didn’t know much more than he knew before the announcement. But the OU athletic director, who helped in shaping college football’s new order, shared some thoughts.
* Joe C. he isn’t sure if the football selection committee will be handed the responsibility of filling out the other eight teams for the premium bowl games, which now number six. Two each year will be national semifinals; the other four will be waiting their turn.
“I don’t know if that’s been discussed or determined,” Castiglione said. “The selection may only be focused on the four teams in the playoffs.”
A few months ago, Joe C. told me that the bowls strongly desired the end of the automatic qualification, which they got. No more Connecticut-in-the-Fiesta Bowl requirements.
* The Cotton and Capital One bowls certainly are at the top of the list to ascend into the six premium bowls, but Castiglione warned that everyone “would have to be more open-minded to anything at this point.”
However, he said, “People appreciate and respect the tradition and quality of certain bowl games, what they’ve meant to college football, over seven, eight decades (which means Rose, Sugar, Cotton and Orange). I know that is on people’s minds. The Cotton Bowl has fantastic tradition. (But) there are others through a bowl payout have moved up in the bowl selection process.”
* The cities of whichever six bowls end up as the premium bowls absolutely could also bid for the national title game. The double-hosting model already is in play – the BCS bowls also stage the national title once every four years.
“If they’re capable of doing it, then the criteria will allow them to bid on both,” Castiglione said.
* The Big 12/SEC partnership – the conferences announced in May that starting in 2014, their champions would meet in a bowl game – has lost its oomph. Joe C. didn’t say that, but it’s clearly the case.
In the 15-year history of the BCS, either the Big 12 champ or the SEC champ or both have been ranked in the top four.
But the leagues still will market their champs for a bowl game, either an existing bowl or a new bowl.
“Maybe it would rotate into a different city if that city was hosting a semifinal game,” Joe C. said. “Maybe a predetermined rotation, could involve two cities, could involve three cities. Could be several different ways to go.”
For example, the game could rotate between the Sugar and the Cotton bowls. Or it could rotate between the Sugar, the Cotton and the Fiesta. No telling.
* I championed the Cotton Bowl joining the semifinal rotation – and JerryWorld in Arlington joining the Big Bowl rotation – in my column for the Wednesday Oklahoman. It’s about time we had some playoff games in Big 12 country.
“I know there will be some critics that will become a little territorial because of recruiting,” Castiglione said. “This opportunity is so big, I just don’t see that not being a factor.”