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BCS chief says playoff won't happen next season

/ Source: Associated Press Sports

Despite the likelihood of a split national championship, BCS coordinator Mike Tranghese said Saturday a playoff system for college football won't even be discussed among proposed changes for next season.

       ''We're engaged in almost weekly discussions on the next BCS model, but a playoff is not one of the items we're discussing,'' he told The Associated Press. ''And it won't be when we sit down four months from now.''

       Tranghese runs the Big East Conference and serves as the Bowl Championship Series chief as part of an annual rotation among the six major conference commissioners.

       ''The university presidents in charge of the system have told us not to go down that road,'' he said. ''We asked about being able to look into it, simply to give them some idea of its monetary value. They just said, 'No.'''

       Calls for a playoff have been mounting as Oklahoma and LSU prepare to play Sunday at the Sugar Bowl with the BCS national championship on the line and winner assured the No. 1 spot in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

       On Friday, Southern California beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl and almost certainly locked up the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press poll of writers and broadcasters, most likely resulting in the first co-national champions since 1997.

       USC had been No. l in both polls heading into the postseason. But Oklahoma topped the BCS rankings and the Trojans were nudged out of a spot in the Sugar Bowl because the BCS computers awarded LSU the No. 2 spot based on a strength of schedule component.

       Tranghese told USA Today on Friday he would like to see the polls — the so-called human element in the BCS formula — play a larger role in determining which teams play for the BCS championship. But he made clear a day later he was speaking for himself and not the organization he heads.

       ''I didn't present that as a BCS solution. What I said was I was a proponent of the human element from the beginning.''

       The BCS formula, designed to match the top two teams at the end of each season, uses the two polls, seven computer rankings, strength of schedule, losses and a bonus-point system for quality wins.

       Tranghese said it was developed and fine-tuned several times since 1998 to expand the decision-making process beyond a ''very small core of people.'' This is the first time since in the six seasons that the No. 1 team in both polls has not been included in the BCS title game.

       ''One thing we've learned about tinkering is that it's better to try and do it four months after the season ends than in the middle of the week when the big bowl games are being played,'' he said. ''Believe me, we know it's not perfect and even if we came up with a selection process that was, there are still people who would scream for a playoff.''

       For at least one more season, though, the BCS will turn a deaf ear to those cries. The university presidents, Tranghese insisted, ''don't waver on this thing. They just say they're not doing it.''

       Instead, he suggested fans appreciate the system that's in place.

       ''What we'll have is the winner of this game in New Orleans and the kids from USC both waving we're No. 1 and telling their kids down the road that they won a national championship. If that's the worst thing the BCS has done,'' he paused, ''then it's not such a bad thing after all.''