College football playoff plan officially approved

NCAA Division I four-team football playoff begins with the 2014-2015 season

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 2:30pm

There will be a playoff system for the first time in the history of NCAA Division I college football.

The new system will start in the 2014-2015 season.  A group of 12 college presidents – the Presidential Oversight Committee of the Bowl Championship Series – approved a plan Tuesday for a four-team seeded football playoff. The deal is for 12 years and will go through the 2025 season.

The playoff system will replace the current and often controversial Bowl Championship Series.  The new system will have two national semifinal games and a final selected by a committee. This plan is similar to how the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments are created.

The bowl game structure will still exist, but will give college football the "best of both worlds" scenario, according to the Oversight Committee.  However, issues such as access to nonplayoff bowls and financial distribution have yet to be finalized.

Lower college football divisions the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II and Division III already have a playoff system in place.

Human polls, computer rankings and strength of schedule to match the top two teams in the country to play for the BCS National Championship has been criticized since its inception in 1998.  Even congressional representatives in the past have tried to force change the BCS.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, called for a hearing on the BCS before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2005, but no legislation resulted from the hearing. In 2008, Reps. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., and Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, introduced the NCAA Football Championship Equity Resolution, stating the BCS was unfair and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.

President Barack Obama has made his preference known for a playoff system since 2009.


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