The plan for the new college football playoff continues to take shape. It was revealed on Monday that the non-BCS schools will not be left out in any year.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy shared the news with this tweet:
New playoff format: 6 access bowls; highest rated champ from "Group of 5" gets automatic bid. Official announcement shortly— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 12, 2012
The "Group of Five" refers to teams from the Mountain West, Big East, MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA, which are not BCS conferences.
So, beginning in 2014, the highest ranked team from those conferences will be in one of the six "access" bowls. As a sign of the evolving nature of this plan, which six bowl games that will be included is not yet clear.
According to a McMurphy article, the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls will be included, and the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A Bowls are the leading candidates for the three others.
Also, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reports:
...that 10 percent of the approximate $475 million annual value of the playoff will go into a pot to be distributed to schools for academic enhancement. ESPN valued the playoff, beginning at 2014, at close to $500 million. Negotiations are ongoing for the rights to the playoff.
With numbers like this, which is not at all a surprise, it is hard to believe it has taken this long to get a playoff system in the works.
This upcoming playoff system is still very much a work in progress, and there will be plenty of room for criticism.
For starters, it does little to eliminate the subjective nature of the process. As this announcement of the inclusion of the non-BCS schools highlights, the whole thing is still largely based on the selection of a very small group of teams using a system instead of play on the field.
Still, the playoff will be a more comprehensive test to prove the nation's best team, and that is a step in the right direction.