As long as bowl system is in, Ferentz OK with four-team model

College football's postseason system changed Tuesday

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March 31, 2014 | 8:56 pm

The doors have been closed all day at the BCS presidential oversight committee meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The 11 BCS conference commissioners and Notre Dame last week came to consensus on a four-team playoff for college football with implementation set to begin in 2014. The presidents need to approve of the measure. A "plus-one" model also will be discussed.

It's an all-day meeting. The expectation is a statement could come down possible around 6:30 p.m.

"The suspense is killing me," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said with a laugh.

Snort.

Ferentz guessed Tuesday afternoon that the four-team playoff would be accepted with a selection committee approach also adopted.

"There's some debate on how they're going to do it and who's going to do it [figure out the top four teams] and then what do you do when you determine those four teams," Ferentz said.

The Big 12 and SEC made a push to have the national semifinals played outside of the bowl, but the recommendation made by commissioners last week was to keep the semis rooted in the bowls. Ferentz said he wanted the bowls involved.

"I think that is important, it's important to our game," he said. "It's been great for our game."

Ferentz believes there should be a healthy amount of time between the semifinals and championship game.

"If I were the commissioner of sports, it'd be a 12- to 14-day break and then play the championship game," said Ferentz, whose 2002 and 2009 teams would've been in contention for a national semifinal. "Let those two teams make the adjustment, which might cross into school session.

"If there's a class conflict, compare that to March Madness. That's a joke. That's laughable."

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta wants to put maximum relevance on the regular season, and so he is a proponent of the plus-one model. That said, Barta said in May that he knows the four-team playoff had an inevitability to it.

"My preference would be to not have a playoff,” Barta said. “My preference would be to have an ‘and one.’ Keep the BCS, keep the bowl system intact. I love college football and I love the bowls. I think it’s a unique part of that sport that makes it so popular and so special.

“Every week when we go out to play, I view it as a de facto playoff game. I like the system we have a lot.

“It sure appears to me there’s a lot of momentum and sentiment and maybe a tipping point to have a four-team playoff. If that’s the case, my preference would be to keep it within the bowl system.

“We all want to make sure that whatever we do, we don’t damage the game,” Barta said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m hesitant toward a playoff. I think potentially, you could damage the regular season. That’s the last thing I want to do.”

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