Rose Bowl also meeting with Big Ten, Pac-10

Updated: June 8, 2004, 2:49 AM ET
Associated Press

Rose Bowl officials don't want to give up their prestigious status and traditional ties to the Pac-10 and Big Ten to be part of the Bowl Championship Series.

They are willing to compromise, though.

"We are taking a pragmatic stance," Mitch Dorger, CEO of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, said Monday. "We are not going to be so unreasonable that people can't work with us.

"We are trying to be part of a system and cooperate with the other members of that system."

The BCS is set to present its plan to implement a fifth bowl game to the Rose Bowl by the end of the week. The Rose Bowl is scheduled to begin negotiations on its television contract with ABC later this week as well.

"We need to be able to tell the Rose Bowl how it fits in," Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said Monday in a telephone interview.

The fifth game is being added to give schools from smaller conferences a better chance to make the BCS.

Hansen said BCS officials are close to resolving what the BCS will look like when it adds a fifth game for the 2006 season.

Hansen said officials are leaning toward having the current BCS games -- the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose bowls -- host two games, including the championship game, every four seasons.

The bowls, sponsors and ABC, which has a contract to televise the BCS through the 2005 season, didn't like the idea of the championship game rotating between five games instead of the current four, Hansen said.

Dorger said the "double-host" model is workable, but didn't give it a resounding endorsement.

"We believe from an economic standpoint that the so-called 'piggyback' is probably the least objectionable option," Dorger said.

ABC paid $525 million to televise the BCS for seven years. That contract is separate from the Rose Bowl deal. The BCS and ABC are expected to start working on a new contract in the fall.

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said recently that about 12 bowls interested in becoming the fifth game approached the BCS.

A model that would add another week to the season and match the No. 1 and No. 2 teams after the first four games are played has drawn support from ABC, but not the university presidents.

"That is not going to happen because there is no presidential support for teams playing more games," Hansen said.

The BCS is also in the process of simplifying the formula used to determine which teams play in the title game. BCS officials have said that the new formula will rely more on The Associated Press media poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, and less on the computer polls.

"Some of the things that have been added on -- strength of schedule and points for quality wins -- we're trying to see if those things should be removed," said Weiberg, who is taking over as BCS coordinator this year from Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese.

The BCS took a public relations beating last season when LSU and Oklahoma played in the Sugar Bowl for the national title, while Southern California was ranked No. 1 in both polls.

For the first time since the BCS was implemented in 1998, there were two champions. LSU was required to be voted No. 1 in the coaches poll for beating Oklahoma, and USC took the top spot in the AP poll.

Weiberg said the BCS expects to announce its new math, which will be used this season, later this month.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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