Presidential Oversight Committee Approves College Football Playoff Proposal


The final hurdle before a college football playoff was cleared on Tuesday, when university presidents approved the 11 Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick’s proposal for a four-team tournament.

The 2014 season will culminate in the first playoff of any kind meant to determine a champion at the game’s highest level, kicking off an agreement for the subsequent 12 years. The FBS, formerly Division I-A, joins the other three divisions of NCAA football competition in determining its champion through such means.

Early reports state that the semifinal venues will consist of a six-location rotation, using existing bowl games. If this holds true, the likely candidates are the four current Bowl Championship Series sites (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange) and the Cotton Bowl. Capital One (Orlando), Outback (Tampa), Chick-Fil-A (Atlanta) and Holiday (San Diego) seem likely candidates for venue No. 6. The title game is up for bidding.

Those details, as well as who will constitute the selection committee and what their criteria will be, should emerge soon.

Presidents’ ratification could be argued as the most significant change made to the sport since the NCAA was formed in 1906 to address safety and eligibility concerns. Like the NCAA’s formation, a playoff was something the acting President of the United States advocated, though Teddy Roosevelt’s approach to football reform was much more hardline than Barack Obama’s passing advocacy of a playoff.

Carrying a presidential (both the Commander-in-Chief’s and university heads) thumbs up might seem like a reflection of popular opinion. And certainly, a championship format that includes more of the deserving is something for which fans have clamored. But there is also a sizable contingent of those wanting to preserve the tradition of college football.

Indeed, that aforementioned century-plus of the game was played with no tournament, in that time building qualities that separated from other sport. Furthermore, the exclusivity of the championship bout emphasized the importance of every game, every week. In some ways, the ultra-competitiveness of each football Saturday made the season one extended playoff.

The approved proposal does maintain the essence of each. Rest assured though, after 2014 the argument will change from who the unfairly excluded No. 3 was, to which No. 5 should have been included. Keep your eyes peeled for the book, “Death to The [NAME OF PLAYOFF SYSTEM HERE]” sometime in 2020.