Proposal: Fifth BCS bowl plus a title game

Updated: April 27, 2004, 6:52 PM ET
By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

The commissioners of the BCS conferences, the men who made the word "tweak" part of the college football lexicon, began their spring meetings in Phoenix on Monday with the idea of doing you-know-what to the formula that determines who plays in the national championship game.

Their goal is to find a way out of the embarrassment of last December, when the No. 1 team in both major polls, Southern California, finished No. 3 in the final BCS formula and was excluded from the national championship game. The sport ended up with both LSU and USC declared national champs, the very dilemma that the BCS had been concocted to avoid.

The BCS commissioners will also begin to formally consider the future of postseason college football after the current contract expires following the 2005 season. ABC Sports will make a proposal on Tuesday afternoon that will add a fifth bowl to the four-bowl rotation and include a national championship game, as well, to be played after the five games.

The "five-plus-one" plan, as first reported by the Boston Globe over the weekend, would include the bowls having "host" conferences, the concept that the bowls used for many years.

While the university presidents in the BCS have made clear their preference for adding a fifth bowl, the amount of support for the additional national championship game is less certain.

In any event, no decisions are expected to be made this week. The commissioners will next meet in June.

Ivan Maisel covers college football for ESPN.com.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com