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One Status Quo Exchanged for Another as Playoff Talk Progresses

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“The status quo is not the table.”

So says BCS executive director Bill Hancock from the ongoing conference of conferences, as it pertains to the formation of a college football playoff.

Status quo refers to the elitism of the Bowl Championship Series, and sometimes arbitrary choices for who plays for a national championship. The playoff utopia for which so many have clamored for so long seems a distant dream from the reality of big money bickering emanating from Chicago.

The statue quo is over in one sense, but very much alive in another. The leagues are at an impasse on how to forge this new postseason. Per CBS Sports reporter extraordinaire Dennis Dodd, the impasse is between the Pac-12/Big Ten and the SEC/Big 12, the power four throwing their weight around at these meetings.

A 12-member presidential oversight will consider the conference commissioners’ proposals and render the ultimate decision, per the Associated Press. The 12 oversight committee members represent the 11 existing Bowl Subdivision conferences, plus Notre Dame. Thus, every one of the current 124 FBS programs would seemingly have a fair stake in shaping the new landscape.

Yet, just four conferences dominating talks — the four conferences with the most lucrative television packages, mind you — would suggest it’s those four setting the overall tone. After all, money is a big root argument in favor of a reformulated postseason. When you get the money, you get the power; prescient words from Tony Montana, assuming we replace “women” with “college football championships.”

So, this a glimpse into the sport’s future. Where the BCS allowed six leagues to dictate fate, this brave new world appears headed to be molded to the whims of four. Their visions differ, but once those differences are ironed out, the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC should be in firm control.

It became apparent that the four leagues were pairing for a power struggle, particularly last month when the Big 12 and SEC brokered a partnership. Consider it strength in numbers.

And as outlined in the above linked editorial, there are four playoff spots to be had. That much is apparent. There are four power brokers in postseason negotiations. That also is apparent. Simple math.

One status quo is gone, but we may be exchanging it for another, even more exclusive version.