Fifth BCS game means double hosting

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 11, 2004

NEW YORK - The Bowl Championship Series added a game without adding a bowl but is no closer to a playoff than before.

The BCS will play five games at the current four sites starting in the 2006 season, with the bowl that hosts the national championship game also holding an earlier postseason game.

A committee of school presidents unanimously approved the double-hosting model presented to them by the BCS conference commissioners, Oregon president Dave Frohnmayer said Thursday.

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"This model is the least disruptive to current relationships between individual conferences and the individual bowls," Frohnmayer, chairman of the Presidential Oversight Committee, said during a teleconference.

The changes follow a season in which the BCS was criticized for a system that led to co-national champions, Southern California and LSU. While the new model doesn't address the main complaints, the BCS is working on a new formula for the standings that it hopes will fix last year's problem.

Under the new model, the championship game will still rotate between the Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Rose bowls, but it will be played about a week after the other four games. The name of the championship game has yet to be determined.

The approved model will be presented to the Rose Bowl and ABC, who are set to begin negotiations on a television contract Friday.

By expanding, the BCS is starting to give schools from smaller conferences greater access to the big payout games.

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said the BCS looked into bringing in another bowl for the extra game.

The double-hosting model drew the support of the current BCS bowls, who were concerned they would host the championship only every five years, instead of every four.

"This is a new model that presents unique opportunities for the bowls hosting them. The feedback from our current bowl partners has been very positive towards it," said Weiberg, the incoming BCS coordinator.

Frohnmayer said the university presidents rejected the so-called plus-one model, which would have matched the top two teams after the four BCS bowls, because it would be a step toward creating a playoff system. He said there was "adamant opposition" among presidents for moving the BCS in that direction.