College football is on the verge of changing forever, but what direction it takes is still unknown
Not to go all high and mighty on everyone, but college football as we know almost certainly will change later this month. That’s because the sport’s power brokers will meet April 25-27 in Hollywood, Fla., to discuss new postseason plans.
Change has been in the air for a while (actually, the NCAA’s Television Committee made a playoff proposal to the association as a whole as far back as 1971 – yes, 1971), and when Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany gave his tacit approval earlier this year to a change in the postseason landscape, the question then became how soon the change would occur.
Change will happen at that meeting. What type of change is the question.
Earlier this week, USA Today obtained a status report detailing the possible changes. There appear to be four viable options in determining the national champion. In addition, two ideas to “enhance the postseason experience” will be discussed; both deal with having a committee that would – outside of the national championship contenders – choose teams to meet in bowl games in an effort to get “attractive” matchups. (One problem there: As much as people want to whine and moan about bad matchups in bowl games, the bowls exist to make money and turn on TV sets. What looks good on paper, i.e., a 12-1 Houston team vs. an 11-1 Cincinnati team, might lead to a half-empty stadium and Nielsen numbers akin to a rerun of “The Secret Circle” on the CW network.)
As for the national title aspect, each of the four options has a name: “BCS with Adjustments,” “Original ‘Plus One,’ ” “Four-team event” and “Four Teams Plus.”
The “Four Teams Plus” likely is Delany’s favorite, which means it’s viable. In that option, the four highest-ranked teams would meet in two bowls – except the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs always would meet in the Rose Bowl. After the three games are played (in essence, it would be three semifinals, meaning that college football then would become the only sport in the history of mankind that would have three semifinals), two teams are selected to meet for the title.
[Dan Wetzel: Jim Delany gives stamp of approval to playoff ]
The plus-one would add an additional game after the bowls; that additional game would determine the national titlist.
The “BCS with Adjustments” would, as the proposal says, “basically continue the current arrangement whereby no teams would play more than one postseason game.” It would change annual automatic qualification, eliminate the limit on the number of participants from each conference and change the dates so the games would be played closer to Jan. 1.
The one that catches the eye of most playoff proponents is the four-team event, which would incorporate seeded national semifinals and a title game. The question with that model is how the hosting would work; there are four separate hosting models – including campus sites for the semifinals – within the proposal.
There is some trepidation among college officials about the four-team event; with college sports being the way they are – schools out to squeeze every nickel (heck, penny, really) they can out of football – it obviously would not take long for an eight-, 12-, 16- or 20-team model to be put into play.
The meeting that likely changes the sport forever is a little less than three weeks away.
An eye on Iowa
As if Iowa didn’t already have enough issues with rebuilding its lines and in trying to get acclimated to two new coordinators, now comes word that projected starting TB Jordan Canzeri tore an ACL during spring drills and could miss the season.
[ Related: Iowa has a new look staff this spring ]
Canzeri started for a suspended Coker in the 2011 Insight Bowl and ran for 58 yards in the loss to Oklahoma. Sophomores Damon Bullock and De’Andre Johnson are the only scholarship tailbacks on the roster; they combined for 28 carries and 99 yards last season. Walk-on Andre Dawson, who played junior college football last season at Iowa Western, also is going through spring drills.
Iowa signed two tailbacks in February, including four-star prospect Greg Garmon; the two freshmen, though, don’t arrive until the summer.
The new offensive coordinator is Greg Davis, who was Texas’ OC until he retired at the end of the 2010 season. While Davis has the reputation of being conservative, he actually threw the ball quite a bit with the Longhorns, and in James Vandenberg, Davis has a quarterback with a nice arm. Again, though, Iowa will have a new go-to receiver this fall with the graduation of Marvin McNutt.
Iowa looks as if it will have trouble in the Big Ten Legends Division this fall. On paper, the Hawkeyes look to be behind Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska, about equal with Nebraska and ahead of only Minnesota – which beat them last season.
• Last season’s Notre Dame-USC contest was the first night game at Notre Dame Stadium since 1990. Irish officials liked it so much that the Sept. 22 home game with Michigan will have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Miami-Notre Dame matchup on Oct. 6 at Chicago’s Soldier Field also will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be on NBC.
• Give it up for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. Oklahoma announced earlier this week that Peterson had donated $1 million to the school; the money will be used to build a new housing facility and endow a scholarship. The school plans to name the football team’s meeting room for Peterson. In a statement released by the school, Peterson said, “I always hoped to be in position to donate back to the University of Oklahoma and make it an even better place, do whatever I could to help the university that did so much for me.”
• The Mtn. network only has a few more weeks to go. The cable network announced earlier this week that it would shut down May 31. The channel showed Mountain West Conference games, but the writing was on the wall last year, when BYU and Utah left the league. Various reports have said the CBS Sports Network is negotiating with the league to show more of its football and basketball games. Mountain West football games were shown on The Mtn., Versus (which since has been renamed the NBC Sports Network) and the CBS Sports Network last season; its basketball tournament title game was on NBC Sports Network.
• There are four teams new to the FBS ranks this season, increasing the membership to 124 teams. It could be 125 next season. Sun Belt Conference officials are scheduled to meet with Georgia State officials Monday about joining the league. Georgia State has played football for two seasons, and the Bill Curry-coached Panthers currently play at the FCS level in the Colonial Athletic Association. Georgia State, which has an enrollment of about 32,000, plays its home games at the Georgia Dome.
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Masters tickets are prized possessions but attainable if you dig deep
• Lots of NFL QBs play golf, but Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is taking it to extreme
• Britain’s lax steroids laws leave WADA in charge of monitoring drug use for Olympics