College Football System Changes to be Announced

College Football System Changes to be Announced
  • Opening Intro -

    Major college football is changing…again…and those changes will be announced following a spring meeting this week.

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Conference representatives and the NCAA are meeting in Pasadena, Calif., to determine the name for the new playoff structure that kicks in for the 2014-2015 academic year.

New Series

The NCAA finds itself in a weakened position as college presidents voted last year to overhaul the Football Bowl Subdivision, replacing the current Bowl Championship Series with a seven-game arrangement featuring four bowl games, two semifinal games and the national championship game. The unnamed playoff structure has been backed by a 12-year, $5.64 billion package from ESPN brokered last fall. Not a dollar will line NCAA coffers as college’s sports oversight committee continues to find itself shut out of the money mix.

The new playoff system “will be run by an organization that essentially mimics the BCS,” notes USA Today. And it may lead to additional changes that could further drive a wedge between college football’s haves and have nots.

Indeed, past talk and current rumors that the top conferences might separate from lower tier conferences are part of the speculation about where college football is heading. Conferences such as the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12 may split off from the other schools, while perhaps relaxing current NCAA rules that forbid students from receiving stipends and eliminating restrictive rules for recruiting.

The Name Game

This week, however, the decision-making will include two matters: the naming of the post-season playoff structure as well as the championship game. Although the bowls will continue with the current sponsorship arrangement, i.e., FEDEX Orange Bowl, the championship game will not carry a sponsor’s name.

College football has been transitioning steadily over the past three to four years as top programs shift to greener pastures. The Big East Conference has been subject to frequent raids, usually by the Atlantic Coast Conference, and is no longer named among the conference elites.

The Big Ten Conference recently put forth the idea that its members might quit playing the smaller Football Championship Schools that have given its members an extra home game and usually an easy win in exchange for a guaranteed pay out.

First Championship Game

College football’s new championship game will be played on the second Monday of January. The first game, scheduled for Jan. 12, 2015, will be played in either Arlington, Texas, or Tampa Bay, Fla. The Texas venue is home to the new Cowboys Stadium and has been considered a “virtual lock” to host the first game. However, Tampa’s bid is an aggressive one as the winning city will receive near Super Bowl-level attention for the first national championship under the new playoff format.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 Conference is reviewing its current bowl relationships with an eye toward expanding its presence in Florida and through associating with bowls that its fans can drive to. With the upper tier bowls slated for post season alignment, the remaining bowls will be scrambling for relevance with some conference association shuffling expected.

See AlsoFollow the Big 12 Conference for Fireworks

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Categories: NCAA Football