Bowl Championship Series honchos will convene in south Florida next week — stunning the venue isn’t Toledo or Toano — for another brainstorming session aimed at an eventual re-tooling of major college football’s abominable postseason.
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 Virginia Tech and the ACC would have fared in the three-plus-one format.
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 — Florida State was among the BCS’ top two in 1998, ’99 and 2000.
As you might not expect, the Big 12 would have snared the most bids, 14, followed by the Southeastern Conference’s 12, Pacific 12’s 11, Big Ten’s eight and Big East’s five. The remaining two: the Mountain West’s Texas Christian.
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 Ohio State and LSU.
The 2000 Hokies, who lost only to No. 3 Miami, would have finished one spot out of the playoffs.
Here’s a year-by-year look:
1998: Tennessee, Florida State, Ohio State automatic. Kansas State at-large.
1999: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska automatic. Alabama at-large.
2000: Oklahoma, Florida State, Miami automatic. Washington at-large.
2001: Miami, Colorado, Oregon automatic. Nebraska at-large.
2002: Miami, Ohio State, Georgia automatic. Southern California at-large.
2003: LSU, Southern California, Michigan automatic. Oklahoma at-large.
2004: Southern California, Oklahoma, Auburn automatic. Texas at-large.
2005: Southern California, Texas, Penn State automatic. Ohio State at-large.
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, Cincinnati automatic. TCU at-large.
2010: Auburn, Oregon, TCU automatic. Stanford at-large.
2011: LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon automatic. Alabama at-large.
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 Boise State, San Diego State, SMU and Houston will remain in the Big East.
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP
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