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SEC dominance, money help BCS brass come around on college football playoff issue

No change has been announced yet, but the talk coming out of this week's BCS meetings has been about the Plus-One format. Let's call it what it is — a four-team playoff — and celebrate accordingly.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 22, 2012

Apparently, the BCS brass is coming around to what so many of us have crowed about for so long.

College football needs a playoff.

Oh, the talk coming out of the BCS meetings in Dallas this week has been about the Plus-One format. Four teams. Three games. One eventual champion. But let's call this what it is — a four-team playoff.

And let's celebrate accordingly — anyone else want to dance through the streets with me?

Granted, no official change has been announced. The commissioners of the big-time college football conferences plus the Notre Dame athletic director concluded two days of meetings on Wednesday afternoon, and while the official statement they released was mundane and the public comments they made were downplaying just about everything, it sounds as if the discussions were lively.

According to multiple sources reported by various outlets, the Plus One is now the preferred format of the future among BCS administrators.

Not so long ago, finding a college administrator in favor of anything resembling a playoff was rarer than seeing Lady Gaga in a normal outfit. Now, there's a chance that when the BCS leaders meet later this year, they could agree to the Plus One.

So, what changed their minds?

The SEC and the almighty dollar, though probably not in that order.

The SEC has run its string of consecutive national championships to six. While the college football world was already growing weary of the league's dominance, its takeover of the BCS championship game this past season pushed a lot of folks over the edge.

Fans didn't like the all-SEC matchup — and rematch — between Alabama and LSU, and they let it be known. Television viewership was as low as it's ever been for a BCS national championship game.

College football administrators seem just as fed up with the SEC's stranglehold on the title. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have even floated the idea that the first two games in a Plus-One model — essentially the national semifinal games — need to be played at home sites on campus.


If possible, they'd like to get those warm-weather SEC teams out of their comfort zones. Make them play in damp Eugene, Ore., or frigid Madison, Wisc.

There's no guarantee, of course, that any of that would derail the SEC's dominance. The league might just keep winning regardless of the format.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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