While the BCS commissioners are keeping quiet about the details of the new four-team playoff, there are rumors circulating that the teams will be chosen by a committee, the semifinals will be existing major bowls, and the championship will be shopped around.
The proposed plan is definitely a step in the right direction. Many have argued that the playoff should include eight teams (five conference champions and three at-large bids) and that the four-team playoff model is merely a holdover until the next BCS go-around. While there are certainly a number of factors that will determine the future of college football, none is bigger than the ACC’s on-field performance.
It’s no secret that the ACC’s weak BCS bowl game record (2-13) has set them back. The demotion of the Big East from major player to also-ran proves that the sport will continue to evolve and weed out inferiority. If the ACC still wants to sit at the big-boy table in five-ten years, its teams need to perform on the field; plain and simple. A playoff that includes some combination of teams from the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC every year would move us closer to four super-conferences, and further from an eight-team playoff.
There is a clear pecking order in college football right now, and the ACC is nowhere near the top. To receive a bid from the selection committee, one of its banner schools (FSU, Miami, Clemson, V-Tech) probably needs to go undefeated or suffer one-loss whilst one of the other major conferences has a down year. And once an ACC team is selected for the playoff, it better perform.
The ACC made out alright this time. This time could be the last time if its teams can’t win.