Report: NCAA president Brand says he'd support a plus-one title system

12/20/2007 - College Football

Weighing in on the issue for the first time, NCAA president Myles Brand told USA Today that he would support a widely-discussed "plus-one" plan to decide college football's national champion.

Although no change is possible until the current BCS contracts expire after the 2009 season, the proposed move would require an NCAA rules change to allow BCS championship finalists to play an additional round of bowl games each season.

Schools "would probably vote for it with some reluctance they probably would agree," Brand, who has no official input on the matter, told the paper. "And I probably would, too.

One reported variation would see team rankings recalculated after the bowls, with Nos. 1 and 2 moving on to the title game. In another version, the BCS would seed the top four teams and stage semifinals in two of its bowls, with the winners then moving on to play for the title.

Officials in most of the conferences that run the BCS are interested in exploring a plus-one system, however the opposition of the Big Ten and Pac-10, whose contracts with the Rose Bowl and ABC don't run out until after 2013, is seen as a major hurdle to overcome.

The two conferences value their traditional matchup in the Rose Bowl, and feel a plus-one system would increase the chances of ending their valued and long-standing relationship -- an issue that will likely be addressed during the BCS meetings in late April at Miami, the paper reports.

However, even with the clamor for change in the media and general public reaching a fever pitch after a season filled with upsets and uncertainty, television ratings for ESPN and CBS were the highest since 1999, and attendance at major-college football games increased for the 11th-consecutive year.

Certainly, the media is unhappy and a number of the avid fans are unhappy, and they express it," Brand told the paper. "But their unhappiness is not translating to a lack of interest. So I don't think it's as major a problem as some people think it is."