While some in the Big East Conference are rejoicing, the league suffered still another blow Monday with the agreement of the BCS and the Presidential Oversight Committee on six bowls and a “Group of 5” arrangement.
New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco seemed to be ecstatic that the conference was not shut out altogether. “This is a better plan for us because it gives us the same guaranteed access for our conference champion,” he said. “We’ll work out all the revenue. We’ll be fine. This gives us an opportunity to play in one of six games on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. That’s great for our conference. That’s no way a negative.”
We think he may have been too close to the process, the conference still allowing itself to be manipulated by college football self-appointed big boys to monopolize the the playoff system.
There will be six bowls as part of new four-team playoff system, with the winners of the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference each receiving automatic bids and as many as five of the other bids (unless Notre Dame qualifies). Two of the bowls will host the semi-finalists on a rotating basis, with a selection committee determining the participants.
The Big East no longer will be assured on an automatic berth as it is now. Instead it will be lumped into the “Group of 5,” with the strongest team from the Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and the Mid-America Conference receiving a spot in the sixth bowl.
The deal with ESPN is reportedly worth $475 million annually, and all schools involved will receive far more money than they do now. ESPN pays $180 million annually for the current system. With that much money involved, the power brokers have been flexing their muscle, protecting their interests, regardless of who gets harmed.
The intimidation process was so persuasive that Aresco actually thought he got a good deal for the Big East.
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