One of the biggest talking points surrounding college football over the last decade-plus has been the desire of fans for some sort of playoff system. Whether it be a plus-one game, a four-team playoff, or even an eight- or 16-team playoff, playoffs remain on the brain.
Change could now be afoot, and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott might be a key part of such change. NCAA administrators have been meeting to discuss a variety of possibilities, and some sort of modified playoff structure could be in place for the 2014 season by the team the coming 2012 season gets underway.
Scott spoke with the New York Times on Friday and spoke in quite a bit of detail about the possibility of a playoff. A four-team, three-game playoff has struck him as a needed balance between a plus-one that would not nullify critics, and an 8+ team playoff that would get in the way of the academic calendar.
A potential four-team playoff would include home sites for the two semifinal games and then a neutral site for the championship game. As for determining the four teams in the playoffs, there is some talk of requiring a team win a conference championship. Administrators often talk about maintaining the integrity of the regular season and conference championship games, and requiring teams win their conference does just that.
There is still plenty of work to be done to get a playoff instituted. However, this is the most significant step forward in quite some time. Fingers remain crossed that an improved system will follow.