In the world of sports, history is not always made on the field, court or track.
In college football, history was made in the conference room of the Dupont Circle hotel in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, when 12 university presidents who make up the Presidential Oversight Committee (POC) decided to install a playoff system, beginning with the 2014 season.
Theres big-time excitement in college football right now, USF coach Skip Holtz said. This will open an opportunity for a lot of teams around the country. There are, however, a lot of things to be ironed out a lot of things that are yet to be determined.
What has been determined is the basic format of the system. After the regular season is complete and conference champions are determined, a committee will meet to determine the top four teams in the nation. Those four teams will then play a semifinal game in one of six rotating bowl game sites. The winners of the semifinals will meet in the national championship game, which will be held at neutral sites that are yet to be determined.
Atlantic Coastal Conference commissioner John Swofford, one of the 11 conference commissioners present for the decision, said the introduction of the playoff will help teams across the board.
The access for conferences throughout the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is going to be better in this system than the current system, Swofford said to ESPN, Thats an important part of this. But you have to play your way in. Thats a plus.
Although a playoff system is a topic that has been highly debated for a few months, the number of teams that would be involved was the biggest question a question that, according to Holtz, has been answered perfectly by the POC.
I believe its the right way to start, because how do you get bigger than that? he said. A lot of the coaches, players and administrators wanted to keep ties with the bowl system because of the pageantry and excitement of college football so they wanted to have a playoff, but keep the bowls in place.
As for the teams that will be on the outside looking into the playoffs, Holtz said their argument could be made in any playoff form.
In the past, the third and fourth teams would complain they had a chance to win it now fifth and sixth will complain they had a chance, he said. And if you move to eight, then ninth and tenth will complain, so its impossible to keep everyone happy. Its not basketball you cant play two games in one weekend, so how would you make it bigger without extending the season even longer?
In an effort to take back the valuable TV slots on New Years Eve and New Years Day, the semifinal games will be played on either Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. The national title game will be held on the first Monday of January six or more days after the semifinal round.
They havent called me for my opinion yet, Im still waiting for the phone to ring, Holtz said jokingly.From what I understand, the semifinals will come back to New Years Eve or Jan. 1. You remember, as a kid, waking up on the First and setting up three TVs and watching all the bowl games. We had lost that because the bowl games got more scattered, and it was about one game a day.
After years of arguments and asterisks being placed next to the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national champions, the time for fairness is arriving. The idea that every team has a greater opportunity means quite a bit to Holtz, who experienced the frustrations of playing in a non-BCS conference in his time at East Carolina.
What theyve done is make it a play-in model. Theres no conference thats eliminated just be one of the four best teams in the nation,he said. All of a sudden,strength of schedule comes into play you cant just win all your games and not play teams in the top 20 in the country. This system will be a lot better for a team like South Florida than the old system.