BCS officials say no to plan for a playoff
Little support shown for plus-one format

By Jake Trotter Published: May 1, 2008
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Those rooting for a college football playoff can forget about it.

At least for now.

Wednesday, Bowl Championship Series officials predictably rejected a proposal during a five-hour meeting in Hollywood, Fla., that would've added a plus-one game to decide the national champion beginning with the 2010 season.

"We feel at this time the BCS is in an unprecedented state of health, we feel it's never been healthier during its first decade,” said Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, who also serves as BCS chairman. "We have made a decision to move forward in the next cycle with the current format.”

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive presented the plan, which would've matched the No. 1 team in the nation against the No. 4 and the No. 2 against the No. 3, with the winners of each playing a week later in the BCS national championship game.

But the proposal received such little support outside of Swofford and Slive during the gathering of 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White that no formal vote reportedly was even taken.

Now, with BCS officials about to start negotiating long-term television contracts, the earliest any plus-one discussion could resurface won't occur until after the 2014 season.

"There isn't support among the commissioners at this point to move forward with this proposal as we move into the next cycle,” Slive said. "There's no doubt in my mind that the discussions had value and it's important that we know exactly what we're going to do with the next cycle.”

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told reporters that the league's member schools voted in March not to support any changes to the current format.

"There's a strong feeling in the Big 12 that what we have is working well,” Beebe said. "There's great satisfaction with the regular season and the postseason.”

Opposition to a plus-one format included Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione.

"There has never been more popularity, never been more attendance, never been such interest in the regular season year after year in college football, in spite of the flaws,” Castiglione said. "Still, it was not only good to have these discussions, but vital. It forces us to think about the good of college football and the health of the game.”

Hugo resident Richard Billingsley, who runs the Billingsley Report, which is one of six computer rankings that factor into the BCS ratings, said he expected the proposal to fail.

"I was not surprised,” Billingsley said. "Overall, the BCS has worked for the majority of the people, and as long as the majority is satisfied, I don't think we're going to see a change.”

Those against the plus-one format don't want the regular season to diminish in value, which they say would happen if more teams were in contention for the national championship at season's end.

"College football has the most important regular season of any major sport,” Castiglione said.

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