The commissioners of the major BCS conferences have agreed to a four-team playoff. They will present their recommendations to a committee of university presidents next week in the District to further the process.
That's the good news. What still remains to be decided is how the teams will be selected. Will the process be rigged to ensure that the interests of the most powerful conferences and teams are protected?
If you are a fan of Boise State, for example, the two words you do not want to hear are "selection committee." But that appears to be where the NCAA is headed. And it might be the only direction it can go to propagate the myth of fairness.
Consider last year. After the conference championship games, there was a clear consensus on the top four. No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Stanford were the only BCS conference schools with fewer than two losses. The BCS standings and the AP and USA Today polls all had them slotted in this order. But what if Boise State, which was upset late in the year, had been undefeated?
Picking four schools to advance to the playoffs always will be subject to debate. The hope is that by expanding now to a four-team tournament, it will lay the groundwork for expansion to eight or 16 teams. That way, champions of the major conferences would receive automatic berths and the rest of the field would be decided by a committee.
- Kevin Dunleavy