College football playoff: University presidents approve four-team playoff

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 26, 2012


photo - FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2012, file photo, the Coaches' Trophy is displayed before the BCS National Championship game between the LSU and Alabama in New Orleans. College football will finally have a playoff. Come 2014, the BCS is dead.  A committee of university presidents on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) ORG XMIT: NY175
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2012, file photo, the Coaches' Trophy is displayed before the BCS National Championship game between the LSU and Alabama in New Orleans. College football will finally have a playoff. Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A committee of university presidents on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) ORG XMIT: NY175

WASHINGTON — Playoffs and tournaments long have determined champions of every college sport from baseball to bowling.

The exception was major college football.

That ended Tuesday. Come 2014, the BCS is dead.

A committee of university presidents approved a plan for a four-team playoff put forward by commissioners of the top football conferences.

The new system doesn't go too far, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger said.

“It goes just the right amount,” he said.

The move completes a six-month process for the commissioners, who have been working on a new way to determine a major college football champion after years of griping from fans. The latest configuration is certain to make even more money for the schools than the old system.

“There were differences of views,” Steger said. “I think it would be a serious mistake to assume it was a rubber stamp.”

Instead of simply matching the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a title game after the regular season, the way the Bowl Championship Series has done since 1998, the new format will create a pair of national semifinals.

College football fans have been clamoring for a playoff for years, and the BCS has been a constant target for criticism. Lawmakers have railed against it. A political action committee was formed, dedicated to its destruction. The Justice Department looked into whether it broke antitrust laws. Even President Obama said he wanted a playoff.

Now it's a reality.

No. 1 will play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The sites of those games will rotate among the four current BCS bowls — Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar — and two more to be determined.

The winners will advance to the championship on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after the last semifinal. The first championship Monday is set for Jan. 12, 2015.

The site of the title game will move around the way the Super Bowl does, with cities bidding for the right to host.

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