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College Football Commissioners Reach Consensus on Playoff

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The commissioners of the conferences that play college football seem to have reached a consensus. They plan to recommend a four team playoff to the college presidents.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The commissioners of the conferences that play college football seem to have reached a consensus. They plan to recommend a four team playoff to the college presidents. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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After much deliberation and discussion, the commissioners of the 11 Division 1-A college football conferences have reached an agreement on a four-team playoff, starting in 2014. The commissioners stood in unity at a brief press conference to stand behind the plan...that they also declined to elaborate on. So what is it?

Reports indicate that it's a four-team playoff. The semi-final games will be played within the framework of the existing bowl system on a rotating, predefined basis. Each year, two bowls will be designated as a semifinal site and will forgo their traditional lineup. The national championship game will be bid out nationally like the Super Bowl, so while it could be played in Pasadena, Phoenix, Dallas, or New Orleans, it could also be played in St. Louis, Detroit, or Indianapolis.

The four teams will be selected by a committee, similar to the college basketball tournament. Winning a conference championship will factor in the committee's decision, but will not be the primary factor. In this format, Alabama and LSU both could be selected for the playoff, if it had existed this season. And in 2007, both Michigan and Ohio State would have qualified. Interestingly enough, college football blogger "Frank the Tank" pointed out that in the BCS era, the SEC would likely have only earned multiple playoff berths in three seasons.

Just because the commissioners have reached agreement doesn't mean this is a done deal. This agreement is just a recommendation; the Presidential Oversight Committee will make the final decision next week. So it's not a done deal, especially if Harvey Perlman has anything to say about it. Which everybody knows he will...but will he change his tune in private?

That's the $50,000 question that remains to be seen.