NEW YORK – Conference commissioners will meet today, hoping to decide whether to have a six- or seven-game format for the new college football playoff.
Support has waned for adding a seventh marquee bowl game to the semifinal rotation. But there is still a strong possibility some automatic entry to the system will be given to the Big East and four other conferences now without a bowl of their own.
“Whether it’s seven games or six games, the commitment to access that was established at the Chicago meeting, I’m confident, is still in place,” Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said Sunday from Denver, where the commissioners’ regular meeting with the BCS presidential oversight committee was being held.
The idea of adding a game to the playoff rotation that starts in 2014 came up at that September meeting in Chicago and initially had strong support.
The tentative plan was to match the best team from Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference against a team from the Pac-12 or Big 12.
But the game drew tepid interest from television networks, including ESPN, because adding a game to the format would increase the overall price tag on the new postseason package.<p>ESPN.com reported two weeks ago the addition of a seventh game to the format was becoming unlikely. Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco responded there was still support for it among the commissioners.
Last week, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Associated Press that both the six- and seven-game formats were still “on the table.”