BCS Commissioners Favor Power Conferences in New Playoff Format

John Hoover@@JHoover11Contributor INovember 14, 2012

The Presidential Oversight Committee approved a plan that strips the Big East of its power BCS conference recognition.
The Presidential Oversight Committee approved a plan that strips the Big East of its power BCS conference recognition.J. Meric/Getty Images

BCS commissioners finalized the details of a new college football playoff format on Monday. But does the new system actually solve any of the problems that the current BCS system possessed in past seasons?

The major difference between the new playoff system, set to begin in 2014, and the old BCS system is revenue distribution. According to the Courier-Journal, within the structure of the new playoff system, five conferences—the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC—will all receive an equal share of the total revenue generated.

In the current BCS system, each of the five conferences, plus the Big East, split the majority of total revenue.

In my mind, the motion to remove the Big East is an act of greed by the BCS commissioners. Sports Business Journal reported that the new format could potentially be worth $7.3 billion over 12 years.

By removing the Big East, the power five conferences will earn more revenue and continue to trounce the income of non-BCS football conferences. The move proves to fans that the new playoff system has been tailored to generate maximum income for BCS football teams, a negative aspect of the current BCS system.


Fans expected the BCS commissioners to create a new playoff system providing equality to every team, regardless of its conference affiliation. Just the opposite has occurred.

The champions from each of the five power conferences will receive an automatic bid to one of the six access bowls, wrote the Courier-Journal.  The final automatic bid is reserved for the highest-ranked team amongst a “Group of Five"—the Mountain West, Big East, MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA.

This assures that a non-BCS team will receive a chance to play in one of the six access bowls every year but further cements inequality between BCS and non-BCS programs. 

I was disappointed to learn that the new format will primarily operate based on an overall selection system. According to the Courier-Journal, a committee comprised of former coaches and administrators will select each of the four playoff teams.

ESPN sportswriter Chris Low voiced his concern that the coaches may make selections based on their personal biases. For example, ESPN reported that Bobby Bowden was mentioned as a potential candidate.  Imagine the implications of his vote if Florida State were on the cusp of being selected as one of the four playoff teams.

I was extremely excited when the announcement was made that college football would be turning to a playoff system.  After reading through the structure of the new agreement, many of the negative aspects of the current system remain in the new format.

All things aside, college football fans are thrilled to finally have some form of a playoff.