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Non-major conferences to get spot in new BCS playoff plan

6:45 PM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
The College Football National Champhionship Trophy (Getty Images)
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DENVER - The new college football postseason system will have six games as originally planned, but now a spot in the marquee bowls will be reserved for the best team from a group of five conferences that includes the Big East.

The tweak to the postseason format that will start in 2014 was made Monday during a meeting of conference commissioners and university presidents.

In September, a proposal was put forth to add a seventh game to the format that would match the best team from the Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference against a team from the Pac-12 or Big 12.

But ultimately that plan was dumped, and instead a guaranteed spot was created to give those conferences access to the top games.

The national semifinals will rotate through six bowl games, setting up two playoff games and four major bowl games every season. The title game will be bid out each year through a separate process similar to the Super Bowl.

The six games will include three "contract bowls" and three "host bowls." The contract bowls are the Rose, Sugar and Orange, bowls that have both of their spots linked to conference affiliation deals. A host bowl, briefly known as an "access bowl" is one that does not have a conference tie-in deal, like the Fiesta, Cotton and Chik-Fil-A. The BCS plans to put out request for proposals for those and other interested bowls sometime before the TV agreements are negotiated.

The Rose Bowl has a longtime relationship with the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Sugar Bowl just agreed to a deal with the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference. The Orange Bowl over the summer signed a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference and is working on a deal to have a team from the SEC or Big Ten, or Notre Dame, play in the Miami-based game.

The top team from the other five conferences without ties to a contract bowl will be assured a spot in one of the host bowls. Under the original plan, teams from those five leagues could get in only through an at-large bid.

A selection committee will pick the four playoff teams and fill the spots in the host bowls.

The commissioners and presidents also announced that a higher portion of the revenue from the new format will go to the conferences of the four teams that qualify for the playoff and participate in the other games.

Also, part of the revenue sharing will be based on the NCAA's academic progress report scores.

(USA Today)

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