BCS: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Changes they are a coming.... per the scuttlebutt around the BCS water coolers. Conference commissioners likely won't have a final decision until early-summer, but they are currently meeting in New Orleans to discuss the future of the BCS and the postseason bowl package.

An eight-team single-elimination tournament? A "plus-one" format? Or, leave the current Bowl Championship Series as it is.

Those are the matters being discussed by BCS conference commissioners in New Orleans this week after the title game to the 2011 season was decided with Alabama's victory over LSU in an all-SEC final.

"There seems to be a lot of momentum for change, but I have no idea what that change might be," said Rick Baker, President of the Cotton Bowl. "We have no control over it. All we can do is try to put on the best show we can and be as accommodating to the teams as we possibly can and just hope we get the opportunity to tell our story."

That story for the Cotton bowl is a 76-year history with, as Baker says, "A game played in the finest football facility in the world. We're in the middle of the country and smack dab in a significant recruiting area, so we think we have all of the pieces to the puzzle in place. Whatever the system will be, all we're asking for is a chance to tell our story."

Baker explained that the conference commissioners have the control of the inventory "… so they control the process, but it's anyone's guess as to what the process might be."

Likely starting with the 2014 season, the "plus-one" could use the present BCS formula where the final four teams would be paired with No. 4 traveling to No. 1, and No. 3 traveling to No. 2. That winner would then play for the national championship at a neutral site.

K-State athletics director John Currie offered, "I'm not a playoff person. If it ends up with a "plus-one" format, I suppose that's all right, but we have enough pressure to win.

Even though the game is very important for the university, there are aspects of the current bowl setup that I really like. It allows for our student-athletes to have some fun."

One concern of Currie is that teams already play 12 regular-season games, plus a 13th game with championship games in some conferences, plus a 14th game in a bowl setting, and then a possible 15th game for a national championship.

"I understand that affects only two teams, but that becomes a lot of football," said Currie. "From my perspective personally, I still believe the current opportunity to go to postseason and play in a bowl environment is a very good thing."

While some have the opinion that there are too many bowl games, Wildcat football coach Bill Snyder is not one of those as he continues to have memories of his first bowl game with the Wildcats in 1993 when they attended the Copper Bowl.

"My concern is that we don't do anything to destroy the entirety of the bowl system," said Snyder. "We won our first bowl game in 1993 at the Copper Bowl, and that was the foundation for what our program has done. Without that game, I don't think we would have made the strides that we have made. I love the bowl system."

Baker indicated that he has heard no serious momentum for an eight-team playoff, other than from the Mountain West Conference. Other than that, he said last week, "I don't think at this present time that there's a leader in the clubhouse as to what the new system might be."

Baker indicated that a formal decision likely would not come before the summer.

Of the Cotton Bowl's position, Baker said, "We want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. With our history, and in a new stadium, and with a partner like AT&T, once again, all we want is the opportunity to tell our story and be in the rotation every four years, or every five years, to host a national championship game in North Texas."


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