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Four-Team Playoff Coming to College Football

A presidential oversight committee has officially signed off on a college football four-team playoff that will replace the current BCS championship game system. A selection committee will decide which four teams advance to the playoff, with the two semi-finals games being held at current bowl locations.

The semi-finals games, to be held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, will rotate between six existing bowl sites with the host of the national championship matchup going to the highest bidder. The championship game will still be held on Championship Monday, sticking with tradition.

Football Bowl Association executive director Wright Waters said yesterday that “[this] is the beginning of an exciting time in the future of college football and we are committed to continuing the rich tradition of the bowls.” The selection committee that will decide on the four teams to advance to the playoff will consider record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and the team’s spot in their conference standings.

This will go down as a historical moment in the long history of the illustrious sport of college football. For the first time ever, two teams each year will be forced to play a second postseason game for their shot at the national championship. And when the rules change, it’s often interesting to take a glance back at the past and wonder what could have been.

Like in 1994, when the Nittany Lions football team went undefeated, but fell short of a selection to the Orange Bowl and a shot at a National Championship. How about 2005? Penn State finished the season 11-1, earned a Big Ten Conference title, but ranked in at #3 on the AP poll. While the final matchup between JoePa and the legendary Bobby Bowden in the Orange Bowl was one to remember, the new playoff system would’ve allowed the Nittany Lions a chance at the real prize, the “Coaches’ Trophy”.

Regardless of the historical implications that come along with an alteration of the current BCS bowl system, this is a much needed shakeup to what has become somewhat of a stale postseason. Don’t get me wrong — bowl football is extremely exciting. But fans of all but two teams are left questioning each and every year whether or not their team could’ve taken the BCS National Champion. This new playoff system sets the foundation for a larger bracket in the future that will allow every elite squad in the nation to have a fair shot at that coveted crystal football.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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