With traditionalists — read: dinosaurs — entrenched in opposition to a more inclusive eight- or 16-team playoff, one plausible outcome is a four-team playoff comprised of the three highest-rated conference champions and an at-large entry.
Whether a formula such as the BCS standings or a committee similar to college basketball’s would set the field is among myriad unknowns. But since it’s a dreary Thursday and I’ve got all past BCS standings on file, let’s see how
As you might expect, the overriding answer is not well. Of the 56 playoff semifinalists in the BCS' 14 years, only four would have hailed from the ACC. That's last among the six power conferences.
Moreover, just one of those four, Virginia Tech in 2007, would have been in the last 11 years —
As you might not expect, the
Virginia Tech would have qualified in 1999, the season in which the Hokies lost the national title game to Florida State, and 2007, when they finished third in the BCS standings behind
The 2000 Hokies, who lost only to No. 3
Here's a year-by-year look:
1999: Florida State, Virginia Tech,
2002: Miami, Ohio State,
2003: LSU, Southern California,
2004: Southern California, Oklahoma,
2005: Southern California, Texas,
2006: Ohio State, Florida, Southern California automatic. Michigan at-large.
2007: Ohio State, LSU, Virginia Tech automatic. Oklahoma at-large.
2008: Oklahoma, Florida, Southern California automatic. Texas at-large.
2009: Alabama, Texas,
2010: Auburn, Oregon, TCU automatic.
USC would lead all teams with six semifinal appearances in 14 years, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio State with five each.
One decision that appears certain: The era of automatic qualifiers will end after the 2013 season, which makes you wonder just how long outliers such as
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