Bloomberg News

College Football Commissioners Say 4 Teams Would Be in Playoffs

April 27, 2012

Commissioners of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences say they will focus exclusively on a four-team format for a proposed college football playoff.

They had considered an eight-team and 16-team playoff to crown a national champion before deciding it would undermine the importance of the regular season and postseason bowl games, the group said in a statement after meeting this week in Hollywood, Florida.

“From the start, we set out to protect college football’s unique regular season, which we see as the best regular season in sports,” the commissioners said in the statement. “We are also mindful of the bowl tradition and seek to create a structure that continues to reward student-athletes with meaningful bowl appearances.

‘‘We are making substantial progress. We will present to our conferences a very small number of four-team options, each of which could be carried out in a number of ways.’’

The commissioners are debating whether the playoff games should be incorporated into the current bowl system or created in addition to the bowls.

The commission also has discussed whether the games should be held at campus sites or neutral venues, and how that would be determined. At the core of the discussion is which playoff system will generate the greatest media revenue.

FBS conference commissioners, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, network TV executives and college football executives concluded their meetings yesterday.

Commissioners now will take the proposals back to their university presidents, athletic directors and coaches for discussion and debate. The commissioners plan to meet again in Chicago on June 20 to discuss the playoff plan.

‘‘If this happens, it will be a seismic change for college football,’’ Bill Hancock, executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, told reporters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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