UGA president calls for playoff

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Would Georgia have won a championship this year under the playoff system proposed Tuesday?


ATHENS, Ga. --- University of Georgia President Michael Adams is calling for the NCAA to run an eight-team football playoff to replace the Bowl Championship Series format when current contracts expire after the 2009 season.

The move comes after the conclusion of a season in which Georgia, 11-2, was left out of the BCS title game and finished No. 2 in The Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the USA Today coaches' poll, both released Tuesday.

LSU defeated Ohio State 38-24 for the BCS national championship Monday night in New Orleans.

"This year's experience with the BCS forces me to the conclusion that the current system has lost public confidence and simply does not work," Dr. Adams, who heads the NCAA executive committee, said in a statement Tuesday. "It is undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."

University of Florida President Bernie Machen proposed a playoff plan last year that was shot down by other SEC presidents.

"A playoff system is never going to happen," Ohio State President and former Vanderbilt President E. Gordon Gee told the New York Daily News . "Judging the landscape right now, it's more likely (university presidents) would step back to the traditional bowl system."

Dr. Adams called "particularly disturbing" the influence of a television company (Disney-owned ABC and ESPN, which he did not name) and took aim at conference and bowl commissioners.

"The increasing concentration of power in one television company that has shown in this year's bowl selection process the capacity to influence public opinion, including that of coaches, in an arbitrary way," he said. "This one network ownership controls more than two-thirds of the football games broadcast and virtually all of the non-BCS bowls. There are clear built-in conflicts."

Dr. Adams called for an NCAA selection committee to place the top eight teams in the four major BCS bowls, with the winner of those bowls to play in two playoff games on the first Saturday at least a week after the New Year's bowls. The national championship game would follow the next Saturday.

The playoff would replace a BCS system Dr. Adams called disturbing for "the concentration of power among the conference and bowl commissioners, and particularly the lack of opportunity for input into their closed-circle decision-making based on traditional contract alliances."

That system produced lopsided games this year in the Rose Bowl (Southern California defeated Illinois 49-17) and the Sugar Bowl (Georgia beat Hawaii 41-10).

The current BCS title game matches the top two teams in the BCS standings, which uses a formula that includes the coaches' poll, the Harris poll and computer rankings.

Dr. Adams had voiced concern about extending the season into a second semester, but he said only four teams would be involved at that point and that he would consider returning to an 11-game schedule.

BCS officials said Monday they would discuss a plus-one format, which would set up a national title game after the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls are played. That would likely set up a No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchups.

Dr. Adams will propose his plan to NCAA President Myles Brand and the executive board.

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