Five keys to BCS meetings

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As the BCS meetings get underway, Mark Schlabach looks at the key points that will factor into the future of the championship format.

"They know this game is in the fourth quarter," BCS executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN's Joe Schad. "And it's time to get it done."

A final decision won't be made this week, but the BCS's governing body is expected to begin to iron out details such as how many teams will be involved in a playoff, how the teams will be selected, where the semifinals and championship game will be played and how the existing BCS bowl games will be incorporated into a playoff.

Schlabach has five key elements:

1. The model: How to play? The current leader seems to be a four-team, plus-one format.

2. The participants: Who gets in? One idea has a conference champions only format which doesn't seem to be sitting well with commissioners.

3. The sites: Where to play? Big Ten officials and coaches are pushing to have the higher-seeded team host a semifinal game on campus. This would give more northern teams an advantage were they to host a southern team. However, this hasn't gained much traction because of stadium sizes and available accomodations in some cities.

4. The calendar: When to play? This is a hot topic considering the 44 days Alabama waited between its regular season finale and the BCS title game. Many want to move BCS games closer to New Year's Day, but that date could be a likely date for semifinals in the plus-one scenario.

5. The Rose Bowl: What to do with the Granddaddy? Simply put, the Rose Bowl wants to keep its traditional tie-ins with the Big Ten and Pac-12. That is a monkey wrench in the works and could keep the Rose Bowl out of the mix for a semifinal game.

Read the full story here.

Kristi Dosh also looks at what a playoff model would be worth financially:

Economists and television consultants value a playoff system around $600 million to $1.5 billion per year, depending on the number of teams included. That’s a major increase from the more than $125 million per year the BCS currently receives annually from its contract with ESPN for the national championship, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Rose Bowl’s contract with ABC generates another $30 million per year.

Read the full blog post here.