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BCS Expected to Approve Bowl Plan

Times Staff Writer

Bowl championship series commissioners will conduct a conference call today during which they probably will approve a proposal in which each of the four major bowls will play host to a second game every four years.

The format, originally known as “piggyback,” is now being called “double-hosting.”

Beginning in 2006, the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls each would play host to two games once every four years -- their own bowl and a BCS title game about one week later.

Barring any setbacks today, the agreement will be announced Thursday.

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The BCS needs to reach tentative agreement on a format before the Rose Bowl begins negotiations Friday with ABC.

Pacific 10 Conference Commissioner Tom Hansen said “nothing has been finalized” but added, “we’re progressing toward a big announcement.”

The BCS contract with ABC expires after the 2005 season, but the Rose Bowl has a separate agreement with the network.

In February, faced with possible antitrust lawsuits from the five conferences that are not members of the six-conference BCS, college presidents approved a plan to add a fifth BCS game to the championship-game mix, opening two more at-large berths for non-BCS schools.

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Instead of that plan, however, BCS commissioners are closing in on an agreement that would add two spots using the same four BCS bowls.

The sticking point is the Rose Bowl’s long-standing relationship with the Pac-10 and Big Ten.

The other BCS bowls think the Rose Bowl should share more of the burden in having to take a non-BCS school some years, while the Rose Bowl is adamant about maintaining its Pac-10/Big Ten arrangement.

Rose Bowl Chief Executive Mitch Dorger said his bowl would consider taking a non-BCS team only in years when it lost the Pac-10 or Big Ten champion to the BCS national-title game. “We’re not going to give up a champion unless they’re No. 1 or No. 2,” Dorger said.

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